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Northern Ireland round-up: New life for former newspaper building in Belfast city centre; Four proposals in for Belfast’s Giant’s Park

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Northern Ireland: 10 March-16 March, 2018

New life for former newspaper building in Belfast city centre

Ambitious proposals for a £75 million redevelopment of the former Belfast Telegraph building in Belfast city centre have been unveiled.

The Planner

MPs say government more interested in ‘box-ticking’ than real climate change action

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Audit, Health and Social Care, and Transport Committees have said the government is ‘more concerned with box-ticking’ than taking ‘bold, meaningful action’ when it comes to tackling the UK’s air quality.

The Planner

Four proposals in for Belfast’s Giant’s Park

Belfast City Council has confirmed it has received four separate proposals from developers in relation to an 81-hectare section of the Giant’s Park site on the North Foreshore of Belfast Lough, which has been earmarked for a major commercial, leisure and tourism-led mixed-use development.

Belfast City Council

Tourist taxes consultation launched

A consultation on Northern Ireland tourism taxes – air passenger duty and tourism VAT – promised by the UK Government as part of its Westminster deal with the DUP was launched this week as part of the chancellor’s Spring Statement.

Belfast Telegraph

Hillsborough hotel project makes progress

The first phase of a four-star hotel and conference centre project in Hillsborough has been approved by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Belfast Telegraph

Retail footfall grows

Footfall in Northern Ireland's shops grew during February, ending eight months of consecutive decline, according to latest figures.

Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank funds Belfast hotel expansion

Ulster Bank has backed the £18 million expansion of a hotel in the shadow of Belfast’s City Hall, which includes adding 66 further bedrooms and creating a rooftop champagne bar.

Insider Media

Ballymena wind farm appeal hearing set for June

The Planning Appeals Commission has agreed to hold a hearing in June over the Department for Infrastructure’s notice of opinion to refuse a regionally significant application for planning permission for a proposed solar farm at Ballymena.

Planning Appeals Commission NI

Tree planting to reduce Omagh flood risk?

The Forest Service has published a research report on the potential for tree planting to reduce the risk of flooding affecting Omagh.

Northern Ireland Executive

Boost for Belfast’s fibre network connectivity

Belfast City Council has welcomed the news that it is to receive £11.5 million funding from the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Network programme to boost the capital’s connectivity.

Belfast City Council