Osborne+Co is now ready to move to the next phase of the waterside infrastructure project.
Belfast Waterside will include offices, homes, a creative hub and a hotel on the former Sirocco Works site.
Belfast City Council initially signalled its intention to approve Osborne+Co’s master plan in June 2019. But planning permission remained subject to several conditions that took just over 12 months to negotiate and resolve.
No major work has been able to take place on the site until that significant planning hurdle was passed. Osborne+Co said the project could eventually create around 8,000 jobs and provide homes for more than 1,500 people.
Osborne+Co was delighted to finally be presented with an approval certificate by planners on Friday.
A spokesperson for Osborne+Co said: “This progress follows a period of intense collaborative working with the council’s planning department and enables our detailed plans for the site to come forward.
“With the outline approval now issued we will be focussing on bringing forward detailed planning applications for the rest of the site in the coming months.”
Osborne+Co confirms one of the biggest construction contracts since the Covid-19 outbreak for Santander in Milton Keynes.
Osborne+Co negotiated the £150m project on behalf of Santander with Irish builder John Sisk, the main contractor for the development of Croke Park, to deliver a new campus for 6,000 employees.
It came just days after Osborne+Co announced the formation of OCIM (Osborne+Co Investment Management), a new investment company to manage its development and investment portfolio valued at circa £500m.
Commenting on the outline approval for Belfast Waterside, the chair of Belfast City Council’s planning committee, Cllr John Hussey, said: “As the city starts to reopen and begin its journey to recovery, the development of Belfast’s Waterside will mark a significant step forward in Belfast’s regeneration, potentially creating over 8,000 jobs – that’s 20 per cent of the jobs pledged in our community plan, the Belfast Agenda.”
He revealed that due to the negotiations, the council and developer had agreed on an employability and skills programme designed to ‘up-skill residents and reflect the jobs delivered through the scheme’.
The development of the 2.6-hectare site will also comprise extensive public realm works, including a new street network and linear park, the removal of existing boundary walls, landscaping, a replacement pedestrian bridge over the River Lagan and improved access to both Short Strand and Bridge End.
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