Friday 18th of January, 2013
Clifton House, 2 N Queen Street, BT15 1ES
Over the past months representatives from community organisations in the Inner North Belfast area have held a series of discussions to develop an engagement process in relation to the new University of Ulster development.
As a result of these discussions they have agreed a short charter (downloadable pdf version below) that they believe will maximise benefits for the community and for the University.
The CDG was formally launched at Clifton House on January 18 at 9am and Forum for Alternative Belfast and Community Places provided technical advice and support.
Audiences at the CDG launch in Clifton House
Amongst others, community representatives, politicians and University of Ulster staff were present to discuss ideas, concerns and issues surrounding UU’s planned expansion of their city centre York Street campus.
Discussed were parking issues; private–sector student accommodation (and the risk of ‘high–rise Holylands’); transport links and car parking; public access to the new campus; the frontage and orientation of the proposed structure, but also the substantial benefits this new development can offer the local community as long as consultation with community groups continues to take place.
Unanimous was the consensus that this development can leverage positive change but that ‘we need to work hard to maximise the benefits’ and that the regenerative effects need to be planned.
The Campus Development Group have identified their next three targets:
– University of Ulster endorsement of the Campus Development Group;
– Engagement and support from Belfast City Council at formal/officer level;
– Engagement and representation on Inter Agency committees.
See the Coordinate + Connect document the Forum for Alternative Belfast produced as a result of the PLACE Built Environment Centre Winter School 2012 for more details on the need for a local neighbourhood area plan for North Belfast.