Concern for 'city centre Holylands'

Concern for 'city centre Holylands'

Residents living close to a former college in Belfast city centre have expressed concern a plan to redevelop the site into student accommodation could lead to another Holylands.

The former Belfast Metropolitan College building at College Square East has been empty since 2011.A Welsh construction firm has purchased the building and is planning to convert it into a student accommodation block for around 400 people.The plan is subject to planning permission, however, the Waktin Jones Group said the £16m investment will offer students something different in the city.However, residents say they are concerned the area could see the kind of trouble seen in the past in the Holylands area in south Belfast.Residents living in that area have complained that students have caused havoc and they have been tortured with the late night antics of some young people.However, over recent years both the University of Ulster and Queen's have worked to tackle the problem.Other residents living close to the former college, however, have said the new development is part of city centre life and they welcome the development.One resident added: "There will be people that will object, but I would have no problem with it, they have to live somewhere."And I definitely be glad that the building is now sold for it's a lovely building," he said.Another resident, who has lived in the area for more than two decades added: "It would not annoy me and sure people are entitled to a roof over their head."

© UTV

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