Local Development Plan: Bold ambition for Belfast
Belfast City Council has laid out its vision for the development of the city up to 2035.
The Draft Plan Strategy, out now for consultation, introduces a housing requirement of 31,600 new homes across the plan period.
This, it is hoped, will result in a surge in the residential population of the city to address an historic slow growth in population. 8,000 of these new homes could be accommodated within the city centre where densities of 350 dwellings per hectare are envisaged. This will see an influx of residents in to the centre and a density of 350 dwellings per hectare means we could see more ‘tall buildings’ in the city. Tall is defined by the council as any building over 35m above ordnance datum.
The city has taken a bold step to introduce a 20% social housing requirement. This will have implications for both private developers and housing associations in the city. A requirement is also being established for all residential development to achieve lifetime home standards.
Over half million square metres of employment space is also proposed for the plan period, supporting potentially 46,000 additional jobs. The majority of employment will be directed to the city centre, however some 86,000 sq m are proposed for Belfast harbour area.
Given the scale of growth proposed, the council is seeking to phase the implementation of residential developments to align with the delivery of infrastructure, which we know is currently under pressure.
Specific policies will be established for key areas of the city including city centre, inner city, outer Belfast and Belfast harbour area.
There is much to think about in the document, but it is a consultation document and no doubt will see a significant number of representations.
We will provide further comments on a sector basis over the coming days.
23 August 2018