J3374 : Donegall Place (after the fire), Belfast (September 2018)

taken 6 years ago, near to Belfast, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Donegall Place (after the fire), Belfast (September 2018)
Donegall Place (after the fire), Belfast (September 2018)
11.25 on a Saturday morning and not enough shoppers, visible, to fill a Glider bus.
“Statement on behalf of Lord Mayor of Belfast - Update re: Bank Buildings
7 Sep 2018
“Belfast City Council, Primark, Belfast Chamber of Commerce and other city partners met this morning (Friday) to discuss their response to the recent fire at Bank Buildings."
“While no lives have been lost or injuries sustained as a result of this major incident, there remains a very serious risk to the livelihoods of those working and trading nearby, and all partners are committed to continue to work together with urgency to help those affected.  

“The safety of the public continues to be paramount, along with the economic resilience of the city. A City Recovery Planning Group has been set up to co-ordinate actions in immediate response to the fire, and to develop a plan for building longer term recovery in the city centre. 

Councillor Hargey reiterated: “We will working proactively with all our partners to restore the city to the very vibrant place that it is and we are making progress. It is vital that as a city, we continue to rally round to support those affected by this event both directly and indirectly.
“The impact of the fire will be felt for many months to come but I want to reassure our business community that they have our support and we will be with them every step of the way providing whatever support and assistance we can in the weeks and months ahead. I also want to encourage people to continue visiting our city centre and continue to rally round to support retailers.

“The Primark building is in a very dangerous condition and the Council has served a dangerous structures notice. Structural assessments are ongoing by Primark and independent professionals”. 
“What is immediately clear from initial assessment of the site is that there is no quick fix, and whatever solution is determined, including the option of demolition, will require a complex engineering operation. Vehicular access may be required to ensure this work is done in a comprehensive manner.
“Everyone remains committed to considering every opportunity to reduce the size of the cordon and the length of time it is in place, providing the safety of the public can be guaranteed” extract.
For comparison see J3374 : Buses, Donegall Place, Belfast - March 2014(4).
Primark (Bank Buildings) fire, Belfast (28 August 2018)

Some photographs taken following a fire at the Primark (former Bank Buildings) shop, Belfast. The building is being extended on the site of Commonwealth House, Castle Street Link

The building is the subject of the following application (5 October 2018) for planning permission “LA04/2018/2393/LBC Conservation led works to Bank Buildings involving the taking down, recording and assessment for restoration purposes of the building above the fourth floor cornice line to the Bank Street, Castle Street and Castle Place elevations of the building for off-site storage |Bank Buildings (bounded by Castle Street Bank Street and Royal Avenue) Royal Avenue Belfast BT1 1BL”.
Councillors approve Primark listing building consent application

26 Oct 2018
Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee has this morning approved Primark’s listed building consent application for Bank Buildings.

Approval has now been given for Primark’s proposal to begin conservation-led works to take down the top two floors of Bank Buildings, which appear to be the most unstable parts of the building.

Once these unstable elements are removed, works can take place to install a façade retention scheme.

It will also make it possible to reduce the cordon and restore pedestrian access between Royal Avenue and Donegall Place, subject to health and safety considerations as work takes place.

It is understood that Primark are now ready to commence this work.

We have also agreed a process with Primark which includes a temporary designed walkway, which we hope to be in place within weeks.

Councillor Matt Garrett, chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to give the green light to this application and work can now get underway with the aim of reducing the cordon as soon as possible, and as soon as it is safe to do so.

“The Committee has asked for an undertaking from Primark that it will begin work as soon as practically possible. There is a real urgency for businesses, both inside and outside the cordon, to ensure their economic resilience in the run-up to Christmas and beyond, so it’s vital that Primark moves forward and ensures the required works are completed as soon as possible” - official statement.

“A temporary walkway reconnecting Royal Avenue to Donegall Place will open on Monday 3 December.
Three businesses around the Castle Place junction - McDonald’s, Skechers, Argento will reopen on Monday and Spar will also reopen on Tuesday with reduced hours. Argento is still open in Cornmarket.
Zara, Tesco Metro and British Heart Fountain remain closed while works continue to secure Bank Buildings, and City Picnic (extra market stalls in Donegall Place) and Abacus Beads (Queen's Arcade) will continue to trade from their temporary premises.
A new Primark store will open at Commonwealth House, on Castle Street, next Saturday 8 December.
Look out for new signage and maps across the city centre from next week, showing which businesses have reopened and highlighting those near the remaining cordon areas.
This information is correct as of Friday 30 November, 5.30pm” - Council statement.

There is the following application (12 August 2019) for planning permission “LA04/2019/1903/F Conservation led redevelopment and restoration of Bank Buildings, including reinstatement of previously removed upper floor structures from Bank Street, Royal Avenue and Castle Street façades and reinstatement of 1970s wall on Bank Street, for the erection of a retail store connecting to existing Primark store on Castle Street with ancillary café and associated site works. Bank buildings (bound by Castle Street Bank Street and Royal Avenue) Royal Avenue Belfast BT1 1BL”.

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J3374, 3632 images   (more nearby search)
Date Taken
Saturday, 8 September, 2018   (more nearby)
Saturday, 8 September, 2018
Geographical Context
Business, Retail, Services 
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Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 338 741 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:35.8773N 5:55.8210W
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Irish: geotagged! J 338 740
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NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Donegall Place  Fire (Site Of) 

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