Plans for first phase of £400m Belfast Waterside scheme

Process of transformation at the river side site is now underway
Process of transformation at the river side site is now underway

The £400m regeneration of Belfast Waterside, the site of the former Sirocco Works, has taken a significant step forward with the submission of a detailed planning application for a 250,000 sq ft Grade A office development by Vanguard Real Estate.

When complete, the initial £50m investment will deliver the first major employment activity on the site since the closure of the historic poineering firm.

The planning application has been submitted by Vanguard Real Estate, the development arm behind Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd - as the first phase of a transformational mixed-use masterplan designed by the award-winning Danish architects and master-planners Henning Larsen. The scheme comprises a mix of business and residential uses and the firm claims that an innovative, occupier-focused approach to design and construction will deliver modern, flexible, and well-connected office space to meet existing and future demand for flexible Grade A space in the city centre.

“Following consultation with Belfast City Council planners and the local community we are pleased to begin the process of major transformation at Belfast Waterside, creating a new living, leisure and commercial quarter within the city centre,” said Vanguard director Jim Osborne.

“We are seeking to set a new benchmark for office space suitable for premium corporate occupiers. Recent reporting has indicated that Northern Ireland continues to attract FDI occupiers but an ongoing lack of quality supply is holding back office rental growth; recent analysis from CBRE outlines that Grade A office space remains in high demand from FDI and local companies.

The Grade A office proposals have been submitted as part of wider plans to redevelop the largest brownfield site in the city centre into a riverfront destination.

The detail planning application and consultation has been undertaken and submitted on behalf of Vanguard by planning consultants Turley, and project managers AECOM.