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That also leaves the War Memorial bldg and the Courthouse. I'm no architect but the Courthouse looks like a write off ?
I reluctantly agree with you about the Crumlin Road Courthouse probably being a write off. I don't see a post-Covid19 economic turnaround in the next few years that would justify that building being converted into a hotel or tourist attraction. I can't see anyone wanting it for office accommodation because it's in the wrong place, and I doubt it's suitable for residential use. Given the state it's in, I expect it'll collapse before a use can be found for it.
 

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I reluctantly agree with you about the Crumlin Road Courthouse probably being a write off. I don't see a post-Covid19 economic turnaround in the next few years that would justify that building being converted into a hotel or tourist attraction. I can't see anyone wanting it for office accommodation because it's in the wrong place, and I doubt it's suitable for residential use. Given the state it's in, I expect it'll collapse before a use can be found for it.
It's always struck me as being on the wrong side of the A12 if that makes sense.

There is a Newcastle phenomena called a MQF, mysterious quayside fire, not just associated with the quayside where a building of historic interest, bought by developers but difficult or unprofitable to develop rather lax security so that naughty tramps seem to find their way in and when warming chestnuts over their braziers manage to set things on fire... much to the sadness of insurers. Looks as if there are a few braziers already left lying around :).
 

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Belfast aparthotel signs 25-year lease with London tenant
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Image from FutureBelfast

A new 175-unit Belfast aparthotel due to be completed in 2021 has secured a long-term tenant. The nine-storey Oakland Holdings property on Queen Street will be leased by room2 hometels, backed by Lamington Group.

The deal is a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland tourism at a time when the sector has been badly hit by the effect of coronavirus. Room2 hometels offers "home-from-home accommodation" with perks such as mattress menus.
 

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The Crumlin Rd Courthouse gets an honorable [?] in Private Eye's nooks and corners column in the latest issue.

Not sure how many here are Private Eye readers so if not my rough paste of it. Nothing necessarily new but an appearance in the Eye means LOTS of people will be looking closely:

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Can'r beat the Eye for great news, though I am also a subscriber to the Phoenix too
 

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So after years and years of dithering, and the near implosion of our services industry, we might finally be getting those licencing laws sorted.

Potentially good news for small breweries too, in that they will be able to sell direct to the public. However, this is described as in 'limited circumstances'. No idea on what those limitations are.


 

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So late doors... I'm not clear on exactly what this means. If it's the case that a licencee can apply for a later licence and the specific circumstances will be taken into consideration then it's eminently sensible.

However if it's permissive - you have a pub, you can open 'til 2am.... not so much.

There is a risk that [for example] you have a bar with a lot of residential properties close by, the operator decides that they quite fancy attracting a bit of a party crowd [stag n hen for example] then those residents could have a miserable time. It's common here with city centre apartment blocks but I can also see some community pubs deciding that as they no longer have to be a shebeen then that could also be a recipe for noise and nuisance.

Not even England [which in practice has incredibly liberal drinking laws, or rather frequently incredibly liberal application] allows a blanket 2am-er.
 

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Sounds great. Pubs can open later on Fridays and Saturdays and the Easter Weekend. Hopefully encourages more of a european style culture of dinner and drinks, followed by lingering drinks before heading home.

Things to fix:
  1. Still sounds like it is incredibly difficult for breweries and new applicants to get a license. Still a monopoly on license ownership.
  2. Public transport to satelite towns needs addressed. The last train on the Derry line from Belfast on a Saturday night is 22.40, roughly 50 mins earlier than any of the other lines.
 

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Sounds great. Pubs can open later on Fridays and Saturdays and the Easter Weekend. Hopefully encourages more of a european style culture of dinner and drinks, followed by lingering drinks before heading home.

Things to fix:
  1. Still sounds like it is incredibly difficult for breweries and new applicants to get a license. Still a monopoly on license ownership.
  2. Public transport to satelite towns needs addressed. The last train on the Derry line from Belfast on a Saturday night is 22.40, roughly 50 mins earlier than any of the other lines.
Agreed. It can encourage european drinking but... it s very operator dependent, if can also encourage operators staying open til the death and a 2am swill. I'm based in Newcastle [though work in NI a lot, enough to often just leave a car there] and in Newcastle it's the 2am swill...
 

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Where is the common sense? Extending drinking to 3am when drunk behaviour and alcoholism is already a major problem for many communities in the North. I hope this is rigidly policed!
 

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Binge drinking is not limited to Northern Ireland, but the new guidelines will be in line with Republic of Ireland and Britain. Those who set out to get drunk, will get drunk regardless of whether the bar serves for an extra hour or not. This does allow sensible folk to continue to enjoy themselves.
 

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Where is the common sense? Extending drinking to 3am when drunk behaviour and alcoholism is already a major problem for many communities in the North. I hope this is rigidly policed!
That s the key to this. If it's a one side fits all policy then it's potentially pretty risky with the potential for all sorts of 'disorder'. If it's blended so that say a pub in a core city area with limited residential can open late but a local bar or a bar under 200 apartments can't then it's more sensible.
 

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Yea - as pointed out on twitter, Tesco Metro as a format is being done away with; designed for the weekly shop, people use it as a convenience store - they mention opening up another Tesco express, and there is already a Tesco express up the Avenue.

Hopefully a new purpose for the building can be found (hopefully civic!). Rethinking the back, and access to Bank square would be be fantastic.
 

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The Metro closure is a real shame, it was really handy for city-centre based people to get things they couldn't otherwise get in the smaller Tesco stores or the likes of M&S.

This closure combined with the Dunnes foodhall closure does nothing to support city-centre living. Very disappointing actually.
 

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The Metro closure is a real shame, it was really handy for city-centre based people to get things they couldn't otherwise get in the smaller Tesco stores or the likes of M&S.

This closure combined with the Dunnes foodhall closure does nothing to support city-centre living. Very disappointing actually.
I agree, I'm essentially a fairly frequent commuter to Belfast, staying in the city centre [sometimes with Mrs NP] and her comment was the same as yours, would make life just a bit less convenient. It wouldn't stop me staying in the centre of town but it does produce a bit of a sigh.

I wonder if there's something more complex going on here, a larger than typical shop in an old building with a slightly quirky layout. Just hope they open a plan B, sadly I suspect there will be plenty of vacant sites to chose from :(.
 
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