A new East Belfast social housing development has been approved on a site off Holywood Road.
At the monthly meeting of the Belfast City Council Planning Committee on Tuesday, elected members gave the green light to the demolition of apartment blocks at 1-3 Clonaver Drive, to be replaced with a three building 30 apartment social housing development. The new development, made for over 55’s tenure, will include new amenity space, landscaping, car parking and other associated site works.
Council Planning officers recommended for approval the application, which is from Choice Housing Association Ireland Ltd, Leslie Morrell House, May Street, Belfast. The land is currently owned by Choice Housing and is occupied by 24 social housing apartments, arranged in three and two storey buildings. Choice has stated that the current apartments are “no longer fit for purpose.”
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The proposed scheme includes 20 three-person two-bedroom apartments, four four-person two-bedroom wheelchair accessible apartments, and six two-person, one bedroom apartments.
The council received two objections and one representation in support of the application. Objectors raised issues concerning parking arrangements, sewage and drainage, wildlife and loss of habitat, loss of privacy and loss of trees.
The council planning report states: “The addition of 30 apartments will not conflict with the adjacent land use which is primarily residential. The scheme is considered to take account of the specific circumstances of the site, acknowledging the steep level change to the south of the site and ensuring the three apartment blocks tie in with the adjacent approval (site).”
It states: “Although the height increases to the rear, the sloping site characteristic ensures that impacts are minimised to the properties at Norwood Court and Edgecumbe Drive. This minimises the impact on the immediate street scene. The proposed finish of the apartments is red brick which aims to be sensitive to the existing residential context and also the adjacent approved development.”
It adds: “The proposed development, by reason of its form, scale, layout, design and materials, is in keeping with the site and its surrounding area.
“The layout/aspect of the building within the site is such that there will be no significant overlooking into neighbouring properties. In addition, there are sufficient separation distances to existing neighbouring properties to ensure that dominance and overshadowing will not occur to an unacceptable degree.”
It adds: “Existing trees are being retained where possible within the site. The Tree Officer was consulted and was concerned with the loss of trees to the front of the site. However, the site will have a net gain in permeable surfaces due to the introduction of green spaces throughout to replace existing hardstanding/buildings and there will be a net gain of 41 trees.”
On parking the report states: “The proposed parking falls short of the parking standards at approximately 0.8 of a space per apartment. However, the introduction of 24 spaces, three which are for disabled parking, provides a substantial increase to the parking which is currently provided for the three existing apartment blocks. Alongside on-street parking there is ample space for future residents to park.”
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