As a member of the newly formed Cathedral Quarter Action group, Township is currently campaigning for drastic improvements to the new [formerly Royal Exchange] Belfast city centre regeneration proposal currently in pre-planning consultation.
There is a paucity of information on the PR company’s website, and little critical coverage in the press. A lot of people have been in touch looking for more information about the proposed plan. Given the scale of this (12 acres) and the fact that it is primarily for large retail and Grade A office in the city’s cultural quarter, people rightly suspect it will be bad for the city, but want something more substantial to say on the matter, to be able to make a robust objection.
Well, Township has been compiling info sheets to give you just that.
There is a LOT wrong with this proposal, but we have to start somewhere. We’ve decided to distill the main issues down into three categories.
1. Form: how the development will impact on the built heritage and character of the area; access to public space, and the connectedness of the area with the surrounding city.
2. Function: how the development will impact on the Cathedral Quarter as the city’s cultural hub, what effect it will have on existing businesses in the area, and how viable the retail-led development is when we face the highest vacancy rates in the UK.
3. Process: how well the developers are meeting their statutory obligation to consult with stakeholders and what evidence basis there is that this development will benefit the city.
Here is the first of three simple graphics outlining the major problems with the *form* of the development. The issues are summarised to fit on a single page, and we’ve tried to limit ourselves to those that have a clear policy basis (that’s what those letters in brackets are).
Remember, you MUST email your concerns to CHagan@savills.com before 3 April.