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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Connor Lynch

Concerns over impact of South Belfast student accommodation plans to community

Concerns have been raised regarding a planning application for student accommodation in the Sandy Row area.

A planning application has been submitted to the Belfast City Council planning department for a new 354 unit block of student accommodation on Glenalpin Street, which would replace a former car park.

It has caused concern among resident and councillors in the area who believe that the development would not be suitable for the area, where people have been calling for more social housing.

Read more: Belfast city centre student block 'clustering' concerns raised

The site has already been granted permission for private apartments, but now developer Artemis Developments Ltd, is looking to turn it into student accommodation.

Speaking to Belfast Live, councillor Tracy Kelly said that while she understands the need for new student accommodation in Belfast, she believes that it would be "madness" to put it on Glenalpin Street, due to the impact that it would have on the Sandy Row area and its residents.

She also believes that there is too much of a focus on building student accommodation in inner South Belfast and that other parts of the city should be looked at as well.

She said: "There is a clear need for more student accommodation in Belfast and I know that there is a huge demand among universities for it, but it needs to be in the right place and not against the wishes of the local community.

"The Sandy Row community has been crying out for more housing for years with nothing ever materialising and they would like to see the same drive for that as there is for the development of student accommodation.

"There is a real need for affordable homes and social housing in the area but no sign of anything coming to fruition and residents are wondering when their needs are going to be met while student accommodation is built around them.

"In the local area there are already plans for four or five other blocks of student accommodation and there seems to be a cluster developing here when there are other parts of the city that could be used that wouldn't put additional pressures on residents.

"The proposal would see it developed into a heavily residential area and many believe that it would have a huge impact on them, as the building would completely overshadow them while also bringing hundreds of students into the area.

"While the developer is saying that the accommodation would be managed, given the proximity of the City Centre and local bars, there are concerns around anti-social behaviour as well among the community."


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