QUB Dublin Road PBMSA

Student Accommodation development

14 Dublin Road, BT2 7HN

About QUB Dublin Road PBMSA

14 Dublin Road was previously the location of a four storey building that was home to Movie House Cinema and two ground floor commercial units. Movie House Cinema was demolished in the summer of 2021 and the site is now occupied by ‘Trade Market’, an outdoor public house, food, and retail market.

14 Dublin Road is situated on land that was previously the grounds of Bankmore House (per 1843 OS map) which was the home of the McCleery family, the wife of the family being Maria McCleery, daughter of the Irish republican Henry Joy McCracken, who was executed in Belfast for his part in leading United Irishmen in the Rebellion of 1798.

Bankmore House and its associated gardens were bought by the Ward family in ~1870, at which point the site was redeveloped as a printing works. By the time of the 1884 town plan Bankmore House is no longer mapped, and the Royal Ulster Works now took up a significant portion of its former footprint and grounds. No trace remained on town plans of the previous Bankmore House, which appears to have been incorporated into the Royal Ulster Works, and some of the House gardens remained as green space to the north.

At the end of the 19th century, the Royal Ulster Works changed hands and usage, and was converted from printing to Linen Manufacturing and became known as ‘Ulster Works (Linen)’ through to the late 1930s. Contemporary street directories list the factory as ‘John S Brown and Sons Ltd, Ulster Works Damask Linen and Handkerchief Manufacturers’. In the late 1970s the buildings on the Ulster Works (Linen) site were demolished.

In June 1990, Sheridan Group submitted planning application (Z/1990/2630) proposing a £12million entertainment complex and multi-storey car

park. The entertainment complex became home of a 10 screen cinema with seating capacities ranging from 118 to 436 seats.

In March 2017, Richland Belfast One Ltd submitted a planning application (LA04/2017/0562/F) proposing to demolish the existing cinema building and to develop a new 12 storey Grade A office building comprising eleven floors of offices above a ground floor foyer and retail units and basement parking. The plans also proposed the refurbishment of Bankmore Square open space and wider public realm improvements to surrounding footpath network. This application was recommended approval in the May 2017 Belfast City Council Planning Committee but was later withdrawn in December 2020. 

In February 2019, Kainos Group plc announced that it had bought the One Bankmore Square site for £7.05million. More information on the proposed Kainos HQ development can be found here.

In May 2021, McCormack Demolition began to demolish the Movie House Cinema building.

In July 2022, a temporary outdoor public house, food and retail market called 'Trademarket' opened on the site.

In October 2022, Kainos sold half of its new headquarters site to Queen's University. Queens University intends to develop student accommodation on their section of the site. A development brief suggests the Queen's University's Dublin Road site could accommodate about 400 student rooms in a 13-storey tower. Kainos will also now proceed with the selection of a contractor for the construction of the new office building. It expects the project to cost between £27m and £30m.

In July 2023, Queens University Belfast submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) (LA04/2023/3627/PAN) proposing the erection of Purpose Built, Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA) development comprising c.475 units with communal facilities, internal and external communal amenity space and ancillary accommodation. This Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) was determined acceptable in August 2023.

In November 2023, Queens University Belfast submitted a full planning application (LA04/2023/4373/F) proposing the erection of 17 storey Purpose Built Managed Student Accommodation (PBMSA) with additional use of accommodation outside term time comprising 459 no. units with communal facilities, internal and external communal amenity space and ancillary accommodation. This application was approved in April 2024 by the Belfast City Council Planning Committee.

It is expected that construction of Queen's University Belfast's Dublin Road PBMSA will be completed in time for the 2026 academic year.

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