Here's the website dedicated to the proposed plans of the Northside regeneration:
At first glance, it seems OK -
|The Titanic: To be re-renamed 'Frames'?|
Also, according to the pictures on the website, the Titanic Bar will be known as 'Frames' again as it was years ago...(presumably when the plans were FIRST conceived).
So that all seems grand (apart from the dodgy cordon).
Will the new buildings be nice?
Hard to say but from the vague computer generated images they don't seem too shabby (especially the hovering street lights, nice touch!)
So, what are we whinging about?
Well, in my case (and I know I'm not alone) I resent that so many older buildings with fine potential have to be tumbled without any consideration as to how they could be incorporated into the bigger picture.
Don't take my word for it, let's just go for a walk courtesy of Google:
Starting at the North Street/Royal Avenue junction at the Bank of Ireland building:
|Start Here: OK, now walk left of here <======|
Moving on along the street we come to the corner of North st and Union st:
Turn the corner onto Union st and we have these:
"They're just oul' red brick buildings...."
At the moment, yes.
If someone further up the planning and development food chain was to act then they could be more akin to the following:
Add a pedestrianized street and viola! A greatly improved area and no need to knock anything down.
Now, continuing with the tour.
On the junction of Union and Kent (opposite side) we have the Sunflower Pub, whose entire block is also under threat:
|Old green buildings need love too...|
However, look at what has been done to a very similar street in Melbourne (Hardware Lane):
After that there's a car park and the Belfast Central Library.
So, starting from the Bank of Ireland and going the whole way around the block we still have a fairly intact fabric of pre-war architecture.
We've seen what can be done with old warehouses.
We know what can be done with a spot of strategic pedestrianisation (as is the plan for the area around the library and Titanic bar).
We know we can integrate old facades into new building projects.
We know that there'll be thousands of people moving into the area.
Why not use these factors as reasons for proper sensitive regeneration instead of the ten-a-penny, boardroom print-out plans?
These are only some of my thoughts regarding the project.
If you have any ideas, views or alternatives then feel free to send them to email@example.com (and we can put them on here or on the website) or even better send them to the council (details below)to show that people do actually care about the area.
As usual, here's a quick reference footer for what to do if one wishes to object to the proposals for the area:
1/ Email the planning department firstname.lastname@example.org quoting the ref. number LA04/2015/0577/O , explain your objections and request a reply.
2/ Sign onto the planning portal, log in and place an objection. It takes a few minutes, but goes straight to the source.
If you follow this link you can go directly to the application: http://epicpublic.planningni.gov.uk/publicaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=NR2M3ISV30000
Simply register and then add a comment (tick the ‘object’ button too).