Planners recommend approval for £55m Belfast PBSA scheme

Officials at the Belfast city council’s planning division recommend approval for a £55m purpose-built student accommodation scheme.

Artist’s impression of the student accommodation development on Belfast’s Donegall Street - Lotus Property | LDS Devco | PBSA News
Artist’s impression of the student accommodation development on Belfast’s Donegall Street.

Banbridge-based Lotus Property and LDS Devco’s £55m purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) block in Belfast has been recommended for approval by Belfast City Council’s planning officials. Located on Donegall Street, close to the new Ulster University campus in Belfast, the scheme will deliver 724 student beds.

Planning permission is already approved for a 620 student bed scheme on the site – with Gilbert-Ash starting works in 2020. After acquiring the site last year, Lotus Property and LDS Devco launched a new proposal for the development in February 2021. The application has now been recommended for approval – subject to a section 76 agreement which requires developers to make a financial contribution or to commit to amenities or landscaping. Belfast City Council’s planning committee is due to consider the recommendation.

The new PBSA development ranges from six to nine storeys and will have a gym and three courtyards. The scheme will include 15 car parking spaces – aligned with other schemes in the area which have none or little onsite car parking spaces.

The new scheme will be opposite some old Georgian homes and the elegant St Patrick’s Catholic Chapel, a Grade B+ listed building. The development is a big step forward in turning the city centre into Belfast’s second student hub, with the first mainly around the Lisburn Road and Queen’s University area – both on the south side of the city.

“Students have been hugely affected by the pandemic with many courses moving to remote learning. With plans for a return to campus on the horizon, we are thrilled to start working on the 724-unit student accommodation on Donegall Street in Belfast.

“Having students in the city centre brings a buzz to Belfast that has been missed over the past couple of years.”

Alastair Coulson, MD, Lotus Property

Lotus Property and LDS Devco also own The Boulevard and The Junction shopping outlets. Lotus Property are a commercial property development company who take responsibility for every aspect of the investment life cycle; from acquisition, active management, reconfiguration, repositioning, refurbishment, development and the eventual sale of the project.