East Belfast housing scheme on former filling station site gets go-ahead

East Belfast housing scheme on former filling station site gets go-ahead

A major social housing development on the site of a former filling station in East Belfast has been given the go ahead.

At Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee on March 15, elected members agreed to greenlight two apartment buildings on the site of a former petrol station at Knock Road.

The four storey double apartment block at 150 Knock Road is to be developed by GEDA Limited of Coalisland, and will have 52 two-bedroom apartments, five designed for wheelchair use. There will also be a new car parking court and associated landscaping.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive had no objections to the application and advised they were supportive of the proposals. No other statutory consultees had objections to the application.

The council received one letter of support from the public, and 35 objections, including from the neighbouring Shandon Park Golf Club.

A representative from the golf club told the Planning Committee: “We have absolutely no objection to this development on this site. Our issues are really the positioning of the residential blocks, and how the developer intends to develop those, without ruining the boundary.”

He added: “We erected a security fence within our boundary 20 years ago. The existing tree lines and hedges were left in place 1.5metres to 2.5metres outside the security fence. That has just been wiped out.”

He said the mature boundary had been “decimated in the last two months,” and said a new metal fence provided by the developer was “the least they could provide.”

He told the committee the lack of a fence raised a health and safety issue regarding a slope leading to the boundary river, as well as a “trespass issue” leaving the golf club vulnerable to anti-social behaviour.

The Alliance Party failed to get a deferral on the application for further discussion, and the development was approved unanimously.