Belfast City Council gives green light to £77m redesign of BBC's Broadcasting House

2020 02 13 Bus 56964196 I1

BBC Northern Ireland has been given the go-ahead for a £77m transformation of Belfast's Broadcasting House.

Belfast City Council confirmed that planning permission, listed building consent and consent for demolition in a conservation area had been approved by its planning service.

The broadcaster submitted an application to revamp its 79-year-old local headquarters in July last year.

BBC bosses want to build an extension at the back of the Ormeau Avenue building to add meeting spaces, a new reception and new office spaces.

There will also be new access to Linenhall Street and the existing premises will be refurbished and reconfigured.

The listed building was last revamped in the 1970s and 1980s, when office and studio space were added.

BBC NI said: "We can confirm that planning permission has been approved by Belfast City Council for the redevelopment of Broadcasting House.

"This allows us to continue with our plans for the project. We will announce a detailed timetable of next steps after we appoint a main contractor.

"We would like to thank Belfast City Council for its assistance in this process."

Elsewhere, the development company Domus has announced plans for the construction of Grade A office space in the nearby Linenhall, Clarence and Bedford streets.

The news came as Belfast City Council said the number of major decisions taken by its planning committee was twice the number taken last year.

The time taken to process major applications more than halved, from an average of 78 weeks to 37 weeks.

The council said the applications related to more than 1,100 homes, student accommodation, restaurants, hotels and a number of other projects.

It also said the average time taken to process local applications, such as small-scale housing and commercial developments, had fallen from around 15 weeks to just under 14 weeks.

The average processing time for householder applications, including extensions, loft conversions, garages and conservatories, was 10.8 weeks.

Last month Liverpool-based developer Signature Living was given approval to turn the listed Scottish Mutual Building on Donegall Square into the George Best Hotel.

Sinn Fein councillor Arder Carson, the chairman of Belfast City Council's planning committee, said he was pleased with the body's work.

"Our role is a crucial one. We're responsible for making decisions on significant, sometimes contentious, applications and our decisions support the ambitions of the city's development plan," he added.

"We remain focused on providing an excellent planning service and making the application process as smooth, yet robust as possible."


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