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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Post projects/developments/schemes you'd like to see happen in Belfast...

1. Relocate Central Station and Laganside bus terminal to Great Victoria Street to create a hub for transport in Northern Ireland. Retain Halt at Central Station and sell Laganside bus terminal.
2. Bring back taller Belfast Wheel to a permanent location on Donegall Square East.
3. Pedestrian Bridge from Clarendon dock to Titanic Quarter.
4. Reclad of Windsor House.
5. Railway halt at Belfast City Airport.
6. Upgrade of Sydenham bypass to three lanes and grade separated junction at Dee Street.
7. Reclad of Boots on Donegal Square.
8. A new landmark tower (taller than Obel) with publicly accessible viewing gallery (would be a good tourist attraction).
9. Ticket machines and barriers installed on all rail stations in the Belfast area. Ticket machines also for Metro services.
10. Trial of the Dublin/London bike schemes to see how successful it would be in Belfast.
11. Congestion charge in Belfast Citys 'inner core' at peak hours.
 

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1. ARC Phase 2 to begin
2. Financial Services campus
3. Lincoln Centre
4. Aurora decision to be reversed and project built.
5. Something high-rise to be built on the car-park beside the apartments at College Sq
6. The monstrosity beside Equality House in Shaftesbury Sq to be demolished and replaced by a development of similar height.
 

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1. A decent library in the southern part of the city centre, ie. for the Markets, Donegall Road, Sandy Row

2. Pedestrian bridge connecting Ormeau Avenue to Ormeau Park, and another bridge linking the Markets estate with the Lagan path.

3. A pedestrian bridge from Thomas & Lady Dixon Park to the other side of the river.

4. Increase the frequency of trains by at least double, the railways are a massively underutilised resource at the moment.

5. A rail halt near the abbey centre with small car park, and frequent cheap/ free buses to Abbey Centre & Mallusk.

6. A similar rail hub near the Giant's Park, with buses into the industrial estates on the wrong side of the M2. It makes sense to link North Belfast with it's main areas of employment.

7. No more extremely isolated low density spawl on the hilly outskirts of the city. We've had the last 30 years to learn that the Poleglass & Cairnshill style of planning is only giving us mediocrity. And yet even to this day that is what the planners & housebuilders are delivering.

8. Invest heavily in developing the Belfast Hills as a major recreation/ tourism area. The National Trust is working hard but they are too overworked an organisation to improve things at a satisfactory pace. Link the mountains up with the Lagan path & other parks.

9. Concentrate office space in the centre's existing buildings rather than new build. Get the classy older architecture occupied before building high rise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
8. Invest heavily in developing the Belfast Hills as a major recreation/ tourism area. The National Trust is working hard but they are too overworked an organisation to improve things at a satisfactory pace. Link the mountains up with the Lagan path & other parks.
Great suggestion. A visitor centre at the top of the Cavehill which would offer panoramic views over the city would be excellent. Was there ever talk of building a cable car up to the top of the Cavehill?
 

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Great suggestion. A visitor centre at the top of the Cavehill which would offer panoramic views over the city would be excellent. Was there ever talk of building a cable car up to the top of the Cavehill?
There was, as part of a future Giant's Park development. I'm sure that's years away though.

Projects I would like to see:
University of Ulster development beginning by end of the year. Of all the projects planned for the city, I think this is the most important one for regeneration. It will be a catalyst for the Library Quarter and Dunbar Link regeneration. It's probably the biggest project we're likely to see in the next 5 years.

Waterfront Hall - not sure how this will turn out. I know some people in the Council are pushing for an iconic, low-carbon, world-class design. Others just want a normal extension. Apparently the gas bill in the Waterfront is about £1000 per day (!) so hopefully they ditch the gas and go for a low-carbon design!

Greater city centre population density - I think low density is the biggest problem in the city centre. I hope now that Donegal Place/Royal Avenue is becoming less retail focused (due to empty units!) there will be an effort to have more living space to make the city centre more dynamic. Most of the upper floors of the retail buildings in that area are empty; I can't understand why lots of them haven't been turned into apartments/bars/whatever. Particularly as one can now see to-let signs offering cheap rents for upper floors in Arthur Street/Ann Street area.

Hotels - If I were a developer with planning approval for a hotel, I would wait until near the end of the year when the statistics from Tourist Board are released. I reckon there will have been a big increase in visitor numbers developers will respond accordingly. I think we will see several big hotels starting construction in December-February. Novotel/Etap on Dublin Road and St Andrew's Sq (Sandy Row) will probably go ahead soon. It's a shame that Vetro was cancelled.

Titanic Quarter - I read an interview with their former CEO a while ago, he said they are being very careful about their next moves, because if they build at the rate they had initially planned they would almost certainly go bust. ARC Phase 2 will go ahead, but slightly smaller than planned and maybe one of the towers will be a hotel instead of apartments as a safer bet. Data Centre will go ahead. I hope we will soon hear more plans on the drawing offices. I wouldn't be surprised if some social housing was announced as part of future plans.

Odyssey Quays - the parent company are having lots of problems with NAMA right now, there is an ongoing court case, so I doubt if we will hear much on this for a while. It's almost certainly on hold.

City Quays - A project of that scale is a big risk at the moment. Probably on hold.

Land east of Lagan bridges - I took a walk along here recently from Short Strand past Sirocco to the Obel. It's a pretty depressing area. All car parks and waste ground. There are some big projects with planning permission here, I hope that at least one of them goes ahead to link this area to the TQ. The Dalton Street and Bridge End towers look great and have approval:



Announcement on Queen's Quay - hopefully the results of the consultation will be announced and there will be some movement, at least on the smaller of the three towers to inject some life into that area.

Lincoln Centre - anything to make Gt Vic street less of a dump. Hopefully the aparthotel at Brennan's will go ahead.

Clarendon House - has this been demolished yet? http://www.futurebelfast.com/clarendon-house.html

Connswater Greenway - this is a fantastic project. It's just a shame that the contracts were terminated a few months ago. The City Council aims to have this restarted by next year.

Licensing laws! - Forcing night clubs to close a 2am is absurd. This needs sorted ASAP if the tourist trade is to really take off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re the University of Ulster move to Belfast. I just hope the plans aren't being rushed in an attempt to get something built quickly. The last thing Belfast needs is another ugly Jordanstown style campus in the heart of the city centre.
 

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Clarendon House is still there and is occupied by either the civil service or the Housing Executive. Have to say I prefer the simplicity of the existing building than the one in the render.
I was convinced it had been fenced off for demolition quite some time ago. Obviously I'm thinking of something else along Adelaide Street area.
 

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Clarendon House is still there and is occupied by either the civil service or the Housing Executive. Have to say I prefer the simplicity of the existing building than the one in the render.

Clarendon House is abandoned. It's the building behind the Bank of Ireland that has been boarded up at street level.
 
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