Res­i­dents win right to chal­lenge £55m of­fices

Go ahead for re­view of 14-storey block

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY ALAN ER­WIN

PROP­ERTY costs have gone up 6% in the past year, it has been re­vealed.

The NI House Price In­dex found prices went up 3% over the last two quar­ters – be­tween Q2 (April to June) and Q3 (July to Septem­ber) .

The mea­sure is now 19% higher than in the first quar­ter of 2015.

The fig­ures are from the NI Res­i­den­tial Prop­erty

Price In­dex, which analy­ses al­most all sales, in­clud­ing cash deals.

The av­er­age stan­dard­ised price, across all prop­erty types, was £132,169.

Derry City and Stra­bane and Cause­way Coast and Glens saw the big­gest an­nual rise in the third quar­ter, with prices up by 9%. The small­est an­nual rise was in Belfast, where prices were up by 4%.

Neil Tem­ple­ton from Tem­ple­ton Robin­son said the fig­ures show “steady growth in the mar­ket, de­spite on­go­ing chal­lenges”. RES­I­DENTS have won per­mis­sion to chal­lenge the build­ing of a £55mil­lion of­fice de­vel­op­ment in an in­ner city hous­ing district.

A High Court judge granted leave to seek a re­view of the de­ci­sion to ap­prove the ma­jor con­struc­tion in the Mar­ket area of South Belfast.

Cam­paign­ers op­posed to build­ing an of­fice block up to 14-storeys high claim it will se­ri­ously im­pact on their right to pri­vacy.

Pro­ceed­ings were i ssu ed against Belfast City Coun­cil after it ac­cepted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the de­vel­op­ment at Ste­wart Street and East Bridge Street, near Cen­tral Sta­tion. One res­i­dent, El­iz­a­beth Con­lon, brought the chal­lenge on be­half of a wider group within the Mar­ket com­mu­nity.

Her b a r r i st e r Liam Mccol­lum ar­gued the de­ci­sion by the counc i l ’s p l a n n i n g com­mit­tee to ap­prove de­vel­op­ment was ar­guably un­law­ful.

Claim­ing a po­ten­tial breach of pri­vacy en­ti­tle­ments un­der Euro­pean law, he con­tended the of­fice tower would over­look homes and be in­va­sive.

Mr Mccol­lum stressed: “The tra­di­tion is two-storey hous­ing in the area, this de­vel­op­ment will in­volve up to 10 and 14 s storey-high de­vel­op­ment which is in strict con­trast to the neigh­bour­hood.”

Mr Jus­tice Mc­closkey ac­knowl­edged the scale of the plans.

He con­firmed: “The de­ci­sion of the court is that the thresh­old for grant­ing leave to a ap­ply for ju­di­cial re­view has been over­come.”

The le­gal chal­lenge will now be heard in Jan­uary.

BELFAST YES­TER­DAY

PROTEST Res­i­dents at court yes­ter­day

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