Consultation: Linen Quarter Public Realm
The Linen Quarter Business Improvement District (LQ BID) has championed sustainable urban regeneration since its inception. Our 2019 regeneration vision laid the groundwork for more sustainable transport, with improved green and social space across the District.
We were therefore delighted when in May 2020 the Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA, announced the development of green infrastructure to improve how we experience our public realm. To support this initiative LQ BID has progressed three new public realm proposals, alongside statutory partners – Belfast City Council, Dept for Communities and Dept for Infrastructure. The funding for these projects is drawn from the City Centre Revitalisation Fund, administered by the Department for Communities and Belfast City Council, with additional funding from LQ BID.
A fourth project, to deliver an extended pavement on Adelaide Street with re-imagined public realm, has been directly commissioned by the City Council. Finally, LQ BID have an aspiration to introduce a cycling greenway that will help connect the district to the wider city.
Invitation to Participate
We are now inviting public comment on all of these ideas. Comments on any aspect of our proposals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would also welcome your participation in a short survey:
Public Consultation Dates
We welcome views, including completion of the survey, up to 31 December 2020.
We aim to deliver the public realm projects between February and April 2021.
Register for our Webinars
To provide further insight into our proposals and how LQ BID has a pioneering role in Belfast’s transformation, join us on Tuesday 9th March @ 10am for the latest Belfast Chamber webinar on #BuildingBelfastBackBetter and hear from LQ BIDs MD Chris McCracken on exciting plans for the historic District, as well as Planit IE on national best practice in Manchester and Liverpool.
If you would like to join register here:
Overview of Our Ideas:
1. Brunswick Street Social
This exciting scheme aims to completely transform an under-utilised area of road into a dynamic social space, creating a brand-new outdoor destination for the city centre. The scheme utilises a 43m x 9.2m section of Brunswick Street, running between Franklin Street and James Street. This section of road will be decked and converted into outdoor hospitality and entertainment space.
Brunswick Street Social consists of three main sections:
- Play: outdoor games and activities that will animate the space and inject a sense of fun into the area
- Eat & Drink: outdoor bar and seating forms the centre of the social space, facilitating vibrant dining experiences, continental style.
- Entertainment: a small stage will be included in the scheme, and events will be programmed on a regular basis.
The scheme will also be supported with additional overhead lighting, a specially commissioned moving projection, and new tree lighting at Blackstaff Square.
Management and Programming:
Brunswick Street Social will be licensed to one or more of the local businesses, helping support existing hospitality while also incorporating responsible user requirements. LQ BID will oversee the space, including maintenance, marketing and entertainment.
During the summer Brunswick Street Social will host a range of family friendly activities, including music, street theatre, film nights, and festivals. The LQ Street Ambassadors will support professionally run craft mornings, with a view to providing entertainment for young children from the family tourist market and the local community alike.
This section of Brunswick Street has very light vehicle movement. Although it would be closed to traffic, vehicles can still access all the streets around it, including Amelia St, Franklin St, James St and the section of Brunswick Street that connects with Howard Street.
A dozen parking bays in Brunswick Street, along with six motorcycle bays, would be removed to facilitate the scheme. However, it should be noted that a new 575 bay multi-story has recently open on Grosvenor Road, providing ample parking within a 5-minute walk.
There is no impact to the taxis at Amelia Street (apart from the positive impact of increasing trade), and existing waste collection or construction traffic can continue unhindered.
Dry risers are well within the 18m limit required by emergency services.
2. Linen Quarter Boardwalk
This intervention would replace five parking bays on Linenhall Street with a 30m long x 2m wide Boardwalk. High quality composite decking, surrounded with a bright yellow wooden frame, will provide extended space for the three adjacent hospitality venues. This creates a pleasant area for outdoor food and drink without inhibiting pedestrian movement along the pavement.
The wooden surround conceals a steel safety barrier and incorporates planting boxes within the frame. This planting will be maintained by LQ BID with summer and winter flowers, along with regular watering and weeding. As well as providing an attractive feature the planting supports cleaner air and urban eco-systems.
3. Linenhall St Parklet
The Parklet would be placed on the corner of Linenhall Street West, outside the BBC. Three parking spaces will be removed to insert the 10m x 2m Parklet. One further space will be removed to install covered cycling racks.
The parklet will use the same materials and safety features as the Boardwalk. It will have enhanced planting and fixed benches, making it an ideal space for to enjoy takeaway sandwiches and coffee or simply catch up with a friend or work colleague. The cycle racks will provide high quality storage for this increasingly popular mode of travel.
The immediate vicinity of the parklet will be enhanced by replacing low quality grass at the existing brick planters on Linenhall Street West with colourful flowers. The planting around the Thomas Thompson Fountain on Ormeau Avenue will also be renewed, creating a new crescent of greenery, helping to generate a park-like feel within the urban environment.
4.Extended Pavement Adelaide Street
New interventions will be designed to activate the street at ground floor level. Potential improvements include better quality pavement, bicycle parking and opportunities to enliven the frontage. The pavement could be widened at certain points and enhanced through improved lighting and new planting along with sheltered seating and resting areas. The proposal includes the display of art in underused windows in order to create an urban gallery.
Belfast City Council have commissioned OGU Architects and MMAS to deliver this project. LQ BID are working in partnership to support the consultation and, in that capacity, we welcome local views.
5. Cycling Greenway
At this stage a cycling greenway is still an aspiration, but one where we would welcome public views. We envisage that the Greenway would stretch from Ormeau Park, over the new foot/cycle bridge proposed in the City Deal, along Ormeau Avenue, and onwards to the new Transport Hub at Great Victoria Street. A second spur would leave Ormeau Avenue at Bankmore Street/Dublin Road and stretch to Queen’s University and the Royal Victoria Hospital.
LQ BID are not the roads authority and we do not have the capital budgets to implement a cycle scheme. However, we would welcome views on this concept so we can help inform thinking within the Dept of Infrastructure, potentially in conjunction with new road configurations that are required for the proposed North-South Glider.