Bank Square is bounded by St. Mary’s Chapel built in 1784, Kelly’s Cellars, the oldest pub in Belfast and meeting place of the United Irishmen 1791, the award winning Mourne Seafood Bar and Berry Street Presbyterian Church.
Currently there are plans for the regeneration of this area by DSD with a budget of £5m. This has awakened aspirations, imagination and excitement for this neglected area of Belfast.
Local traders claim, however, that despite initially speaking extensively to the planners, little of their thoughts and ideas have translated into these recent plans. They also feel, given appropriate parameters, that the private sector could do much to regenerate the area resulting in less public subvention in this area.
There are strong alternative views as to how the site should be developed including reopening the thoroughfare from Royal Avenue to Berry Street. How far can the DSD consultation process accommodate these ideas, given contributors past experiences in the consultation planning process?
Contributors include: Raymond Holbeach: RPS Consultants, Declan Hill: Forum for Alternative Belfast, Bob McCoubrey: Mourne Seafood Bar, Rita Harkin: Ulster Architectural and Heritage Society, Joby Fox: Belfast Arts & Events Chairman.