Responding to the decision by Belfast City Council’s planning committee to grant planning permission for the 250,000 square feet Grade A office development at Belfast Waterside,

Jim Osborne, Director for Vanguard Real Estate said:

“We are delighted by Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee unanimous decision to approve our proposals for Grade A offices at Belfast Waterside. This decision reflects months of hard work undertaken by the Belfast City Council Planning Department, and illustrates that the city is ready and open for doing business on a global scale. I’d like to thank the entire Belfast City Council team for ensuring this decision could be taken quickly by the planning committee, to enable development.

“The offices approved by Committee will help the city achieve its long term ambitions to attract new jobs from global companies who are choosing to invest in Belfast because of its talent, quality of life, and will support its growing prosperity. This scheme alone will provide approximately 2,500 jobs when complete – but it is only the beginning of our comprehensive vision for Belfast Waterside, which will deliver a mix of office space, city centre  homes, a hotel, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, and high quality public spaces.”

“We look forward to continuing a positive relationship with Belfast City Council, its elected representatives and the city’s community, as we progress further planning applications and investment in the city.”

The Belfast Waterside project is being brought forward by a multi-disciplinary team including architects Henning Larsen, Turley, Simon Brien Residential, Lambert Smith Hampton, and AECOM.

Speaking about the decision Michael Gordon, Head of Turley Northern Ireland, said:

“This decision by Belfast City Council is a real boost for the city. The Vanguard team has an exciting vision for this part of Belfast which fully supports the City’s strategic ambitions and we’re delighted to be part of it. We’re looking forward to working with the Planning Department to secure further planning permissions to deliver a new place in Belfast with much needed city centre offices, homes, a hotel and quality public spaces.”

AECOM Director Trevor Leaker commented; “Last night’s planning decision marks an important milestone for Belfast Waterside, which will be a huge catalyst for growth in the city. We have been involved with this significant scheme since its inception and we look forward to supporting its progress.”

Simon Brien added:

‘The approval of the first landmark office building at Belfast Waterside is only the beginning of what will be a new Quarter of Belfast.  The detailed design of the residential apartment living is well advanced and will  offer Belfast exceptionally high quality , European design standard accommodation which will make Belfast Waterside one of the most dynamic areas in Northern Ireland to work, live and socialise . The Simon Brien Residential team are excited to be involved with what will be one of Belfast’s most significant mixed use developments and are already fielding strong interest in the residential apartments from private buyers, International corporate and PRS investors, and Social and affordable Housing Institutions,  ahead of any formal marketing’

Stuart Draffin, head of agency at Lambert Smith Hampton in Belfast, said:

“This planning permission is great news for Belfast and Northern Ireland. We are excited about the redevelopment of such an iconic city centre site capable of accommodating up to 850,000 sq ft of office accommodation and 750 homes. The Vanguard team have a proven global track record in delivering challenging large scale tailored property solutions on time and within budget for a wide range of occupiers. We are delighted to be working with the Vanguard team to secure occupiers for Belfast Waterside.”

Speaking about the ambition for the site to reconnect the city, Jacob Kurek, partner at Henning Larsen, said:

“We are going to create the framework for people to feel part of a shared public life by the River Lagan making it attractive to stay in the city. The River Lagan will no longer create a barrier in Belfast but is going to connect it instead”