Department for Communities

The Five Cs Public Consultation

Wednesday 30 September to Tuesday 22 December 2020 at 5pm

Introduction

DfC have identified specific areas of Belfast City Centre for which investment of public realm regeneration is deemed necessary to support social, environmental and economic growth. The project is entitled The Five Cs Public Realm Scheme.

The Five Cs Project area comprises College Court, College Street (from Queen Street to College Avenue), College Avenue (east side from King Street to College Street), Callender Street and Chichester Street (excluding previously improved paving from Arthur Street to Victoria Street).This project shall comprise of public realm enhancement. It will include improvements to surfacing, lighting, landscaping, street furniture, public art and all associated works within the project area to deliver high quality streetscape that will contribute positively to the economic, environmental and social viability of the city.

The following are specific objectives for the project:

  • Development of a design proposal established on identification of the needs of various stakeholders to create an inclusive proposal for a holistic streetscape environment.
  • To have improved the physical appearance of College Court, College Street and College Avenue by investing in improvements to pavements, carriageway and street lighting;
  • To have improved the physical appearance of Chichester Street by investing in improvements to pavements, carriageway, soft landscaping, and street lighting;
  • To improve the user perception of the College Court/College Street area
  • To improve the user perception of the Chichester Street area

Background

The Five Cs Project is a Public Realm scheme which aims to enhance several areas within Belfast city centre which have recently seen, or will soon see, significant private sector investment in surrounding buildings, but where the streetscape is poor and in need of upgrading.

Improving the public realm is a key part of any regeneration programme, and in doing so, DfC seek to encourage an active city centre. DfC have previously successfully implemented city centre schemes on this basis, notably within Belfast: Streets Ahead Programme.

The success of previously completed Public Realm Projects has highlighted the need for intervention in adjacent areas of the city, which provide linkage to previously enhanced areas. The Five Cs comprises such areas within which transformational improvement is necessary.

A high quality Public Realm Project will increase the user perception of the area, enhance pedestrian experience and potentially stimulate investment in adjacent properties. 

The current streetscape is unattractive and uninviting due to several different factors including:
  • Uncontrolled vehicular access,
  • Trip hazards, uneven ground surfaces & loose paving,
  • Standing water,
  • Obstructions in pedestrian routes,
  • Narrow fragmented footpaths (asphalt patches),
  • Missing or obstructed drop kerbs,
  • Missing or conflicting use of tactile pavements,
  • Uneven and stepped building thresholds.
  • Vacant shop units
  • Lack of 'green' infrastructure
  • Lack of appropriate seating
  • Lack of continuity in approach to the layout and distribution of furniture items
  • Lack of adequate street lighting

Existing asphalt footpath - College Court

Existing asphalt footpath - College Court

Existing asphalt footpath - College Court

Proposals

To date, we have undertaken several design forum workshops with Key Stakeholders on potential options across the scheme. Key Stakeholders include statutory, lobby and user groups who represent those whom the existence, maintenance, operation of the completed works will have the most significant impact. The feedback received has allowed the Key Stakeholders opportunity the opportunity to influence and shape the public realm improvements. Our next stage is to open our design to you the stakeholders for your review and critique. We are undertaking a 12 week public consultation period where we welcome your comments on what you feel you like about the proposals and communicate further matters to maximise the potential impact of the scheme. 

Next Steps

Please complete the Feedback form here. All comments will be carefully considered and incorporated into future designs wherever viable and appropriate.


Belfast City Council
Doran Consulting
Park Hood