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Turley secures planning approval to restore ‘light’ to iconic King’s Hall

Acting on behalf of Benmore Octopus Healthcare Developments, we have secured planning permission for the redevelopment of the listed King’s Hall building, a project which will rejuvenate and restore the historic listed building with a light and airy interior not seen for almost 40 years.

Approved at committee on 11 December, the proposals are the first phase of the £100m Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park brought forward by the Benmore and Octopus Healthcare partnership.

We provided planning and strategic communications advice for the project which is set to redevelop the King’s Hall building into Northern Ireland’s first fully integrated health and social care hub and is part of wider proposals which will eventually seek to deliver a range of onsite integrated health, community and leisure facilities; including care for older people, a gym, restaurants and a hotel.

Not only will the iconic building’s exterior be revitalised but the new interior, which will provide health centre accommodation for new GPs, diagnostic services and other primary care professionals, will return the building's original art deco roofline and windows.

This will flood the interior with natural light not seen within the building for almost two generations. Speaking on behalf of Benmore Octopus Healthcare Developments, David Burrows explained:

“We are very excited, the building is an icon that everyone recognises for its art deco frontage, but few people will remember the building as it was originally built, with stepped windows that flooded the building with natural light. The windows were blacked out during the Second World War, and then in the 1980s a corrugated roof shut out light from the exhibition hall.”

The King’s Hall, one of Belfast’s most famous landmarks, has been vacant since the relocation of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society in 2013. Well known for its Art Deco building, it first opened its doors in 1934 as a permanent exhibition hall for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, since then the King's Hall has played host for a range of events from concerts, to sporting occasions and exhibitions.

As part of the approved application, the listed King's Hall building will be restored and refurbished. The delivery of these plans will see a piece of the city’s built heritage brought back into public use. It is hoped the facility will open in early 2021.

17 December 2018

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