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Do SaveCQ actually do anything to improve the area? From what I've seen, over the years, they automatically object to and reject every proposal yet present no realistic alternatives. And all the while, the area they claim to care about so much becomes increasingly dilapidated.

Even central library, one of the few architectural gems in that area, has been defaced by the pointless graffiti tag brigade. There's an overall image of neglect and destitution from North street through to Royal Avenue/Smithfield.
 

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Do SaveCQ actually do anything to improve the area? From what I've seen, over the years, they automatically object to and reject every proposal yet present no realistic alternatives. And all the while, the area they claim to care about so much becomes increasingly dilapidated.

Even central library, one of the few architectural gems in that area, has been defaced by the pointless graffiti tag brigade. There's an overall image of neglect and destitution from North street through to Royal Avenue/Smithfield.
Not much...

They're a public pressure group and have limited influence as it's our councillors, planners, civil servants and politicians who decide on planning issues in the city centre, not SaveCQ!!

While I agree with them on the protection of our built heritage, I dislike the way they associate themselves with the more militant hard left ideologists who feel like any sort of gentrification and redevelopment in Belfast is a bad thing.

Belfast is absolutely screaming out for redevelopment and yes GENT-RI-FI-CATION....

We need more high paying jobs
... and more grade A office space to accommodate those jobs
We need more high quality luxury apartments
... and more high quality social housing
More hotels
We need more show-off cocktail bars
.... and more hipster dive bars

...and the right balance between protecting our built heritage, allowing our economy to grow, space for social housing and small business.

It can't all be social housing, Sunflower bars and space for artists.
 

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Re SaveCQ, I remember someone on Twitter posted a comment along the lines off, do you want office space for 500 high paid FinTech and Cybersecurity jobs with an average salary of 50k, or do you want space for 100 creatives with salaries less than the minimum wage. Perhaps that's not an entirely fair argument, but it's obviously really difficult to strike a fair balance between giving people the opportunity to have a well paid career, while at the same time supporting people in the creative industries who are really struggling at the moment.

Not sure what the answer is...
I watched a documentary on NVTV about a year ago about the evolution of the Cathedral Quarter. Basically, the area was destined to be an afterthought of the Laganside redevelopment, until the Laganside Corporation (I think that was their name) realised that the best thing to do was to work with the 'creative' community as it's often derisively called and let them regenerate the area largely by themselves.

It turned out to be a good decision. Sure, plenty of the artists who still work there don't earn a lot of money, maybe even less than minimum wage, but there's a reason why it's an exciting place...it's largely because of the artists and the crowds they attract.

The other thing is that there are literally dozens of vacant sites within ten minute walk of CQ that are suitable for a new build for 500 highly paid fin-tech staff. The idea that all of North Street and Donegal Street needs to flattened to build offices, a department store and another three Premier Inns is laughable. Yet lots of people seem to love the idea.

Do SaveCQ actually do anything to improve the area? From what I've seen, over the years, they automatically object to and reject every proposal yet present no realistic alternatives.
From what I can see, some of the people involved in SaveCQ actually created the CQ as we know it, but sure, what did they actually do to improve it? As for presenting realistic alternatives, what would you have wanted them to do? Hire their own architects and urban planning consultants to create their own masterplan of an entire city district? How much money do you reckon that would cost, and do you think it would be within the budget of a voluntary group? :lol:

I would prefer SaveCQ weren't associated with the silly 'gentrification is social cleansing' anarchist crowd, but I'm prepared to give SaveCQ the lions share of the credit for forcing the developer to change their plans into something more suitable. It was only last year that the developers wanted to build a giant department store and underground car park, at exactly the same time as two of the biggest department stores in the UK were on the brink of going bust. If the choice is have a pressure group stall the process by a year, or not stall it and risk something like this being built and left vacant forever:


...then I'm quite happy to see the project stalled by a year or so.

And all the while, the area they claim to care about so much becomes increasingly dilapidated.
I don't know how many times this needs to be said, but I'll say it again: The area is dilapidated because it was landbanked by developers. It's nowt to do with SaveCQ, hippies, creatives, whoever. It's solely the fault of the previous owners.
 

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Coronavirus: Hospitality industry losses 'in hundreds of thousands'

Northern Ireland pubs have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds while feeling the "pain" of the coronavirus crisis, an industry chief has claimed.

Hospitality Ulster head Colin Neill warned the fear must not "become bigger than the actual challenge".

He described the cancellation of one of Ireland's Six Nations rugby fixtures due to the virus as a blow to pubs.

There have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus on the island of Ireland, one on each side of the border.

The first person to test positive was a woman in Northern Ireland who had recently returned home from northern Italy.

The second was a male student who attends a Dublin secondary school that has since been closed for 14 days as part of the Republic's infection-control measures.

Although the name of the school has not been officially released, parents at Scoil Chaitríona in Glasnevin confirmed on social media it was their school.
Read full article at - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-51699056
 

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Apparently lidl has submitted plans to open a pub and off-licence in Dundonald. Plans are on a fb forum so not sure how to share them. Seems they have bought the license off the Lewis to get around asda and wine mark blocking their off license application. Most feedback seems pretty positive.
 

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Ahhahahahahahahahahahahaha! :lol: This has made my day! I did wonder why there was no booze in it, and just assumed the licence was pending, but ...A PUB!!! ...lolz

Winemark are absolute bellends when it comes to blocking licence applications. don't know how they get away with it. well, i do... the licensing laws, but hopefully all change soon.
 

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Developer moves ahead with plans for hotel in former Queen Street police station



A BELFAST developer has moved ahead with plans to transform a former police station into a 74-bedroom boutique hotel.

Built in 1878, the listed building on Queen Street was originally developed for the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. It was used as a police station after the Victoria-era hospital relocated to the Royal Victoria site in the early 1930s. The RUC occupied it between 1934 until 1993.

The building has been vacant for the past 27 years.

Industry monitor Construction Information Services Ireland has valued the project at approximately £7 million.

The company is owned by Andre Graham and Seamus Sweeney, who previously ran The Kremlin nightclub in Belfast, before selling up in 2014.
 

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Usually there's a nice wee pre-weekend vibe in the city centre on Thursday nights, but town tonight is like a ghost town with many of the pubs eerily quiet and the streets deserted.

With the Six Nations all but cancelled, Ulster Rugby games cancelled indefinitely, St Patrick's Day events cancelled, hotel bookings significantly down and the government saying the virus could peak in May, how long can the pubs and restaurants sustain this lull for - particularly the independents who can't easily access finance to keep going. Very worrying indeed.
 

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Well that with the crazy new Business Rates. Small businesses in England are getting support - hopefully the Executive will step up.
Hopefully. It'll be interesting to see how busy the city centre is this weekend as it's usually one of the biggest weekends of the year with St Patrick's Day celebrations and people out enjoying themselves.
 

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CLOSURES:

Sunflower and American Bar (closed indefinitely)
Errigle inn (Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th)
Hatfield House (for St Patricks Day)
Maddens Bar Belfast (Monday and Tuesday)
Kelly's Cellar (Monday and Tuesday)
Laverys (for St Patricks Day)
 

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I see the George Best Hotel has been put into administration without ever opening it's doors.


The administrators seem to think it could still be launched later this year, according to the quote in the article. That's obviously not going to happen. Hopefully if it's ever sold to another hotel operator, they'll gut whatever ghastly interior design has been done to date and ditch the idea of it being a stag/hen destination. The city could do without that.

Frankly, I'm relived that Signature Living have decided to leave Belfast.
 

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I see the George Best Hotel has been put into administration without ever opening it's doors.


The administrators seem to think it could still be launched later this year, according to the quote in the article. That's obviously not going to happen. Hopefully if it's ever sold to another hotel operator, they'll gut whatever ghastly interior design has been done to date and ditch the idea of it being a stag/hen destination. The city could do without that.

Frankly, I'm relived that Signature Living have decided to leave Belfast.
The last thing the city needs is a stag venue, the Liverpool one reads to be truly horrendous with rooms that accommodate up 11 people, presumably they need hosing down after each group leaves.

Before you look at this put your sunglasses on:

Luxury Serviced Apartments in Liverpool City Centre

They look more like sets for a porn movie designed by someone with visual impairments than somewhere to stay, mind you I did once stay in a hotel in Lurgan with multiple double beds in a room but that was just bad luck :). I checked out the following morning...

That also leaves the War Memorial bldg and the Courthouse. I'm no architect but the Courthouse looks like a write off ?
 
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