Planning Application Submitted for Northern Ireland’s Largest Office Building

15 March 2017

The development of a major new office scheme at the Movie House cinema site in Belfast City Centre moved a step closer today with the submission of a planning application to Belfast City Council. Subject to planning approval, ‘One Bankmore Square’ will be the largest single office building in Northern Ireland.

The Richland Group intends to speculatively develop the 250,000 sq ft Grade A office scheme – complete with 8,000 sq ft of ground floor space for ancillary cafe, retail and leisure uses – at Bankmore Square on the Dublin Road. Subject to planning approval, One Bankmore Square will be the first new speculative office development in Northern Ireland since The Soloist building in 2008.

Planning Consultant, Clyde Shanks, confirmed that the proposed design has responded to the feedback received at public consultation and through pre-application discussions with Belfast City Council’s planning team:

“This major planning application is the culmination of a highly collaborative and engaging pre application discussion process with Belfast City Council planners, its consultees and members of the public. The proposed design has responded to the helpful feedback received and been amended to specifically address the design concerns raised. We are confident this will enable the planning application to be determined promptly”

One Bankmore Square’s pivotal location is a 3 minute walk from Belfast City Hall and the new £250 million Transport Hub for Belfast. The proposal also includes the transformation of Bankmore Square into a focal public open space with potential for an outdoor cinema and public art exhibitions.

The cost of developing the building, and Bankmore Square, is estimated to be approximately £65m, with the creation of over 570 construction jobs in the process.

The building will have enough space to accommodate up to 3,000 office workers across its 12 floors. Each single floor plate will comprise of 25,000 square feet of net useable space – a layout that proves popular with office occupiers.

Gary McCausland, CEO of Richland Group commented:

“One Bankmore Square is a quantum leap for Belfast’s office market, it brings world-class Grade A office accommodation to the heart of the city centre in a single phase development. We have assembled a brilliant home-grown professional team to deliver this exciting project and we look forward to seeing it through to completion in 2020”

Clyde Shanks commissioned Barton Willmore to undertake an economic impact assessment of the proposed development which estimates that, over the 2-year construction period, the development will contribute:

Construction Phase

  • Total development value £65 million 
  • Direct construction jobs per month generated = 571
  • Indirect construction jobs per month = 343

Completed Development

  • Operational employment = 2,953 to 2,962
  • Operational economic benefits = £128m per annum
  • Business rates per annum = up to £1.1m per annum

Simon McEvoy, Head of Office Agency at Savills commented:

“The opportunity to place-make has been a driving factor behind the design of One Bankmore Square and the adjoining public plaza. The Richland Group envisages the reinvigoration of the existing natural amenity, Bankmore Square, as central to the development and it is evident from the feedback we are receiving that the proposed scheme has already caught the imagination of the business community and the general public. The level of interest in the development is only going to increase as we move through planning and commence construction."

Dougie Wheeler from Lambert Smith Hampton commented:

“It is evident from the record take-up in 2016 and strong start to 2017 that there continues to be a high level of demand in the occupier market for good quality office accommodation in Belfast. However, there continues to be a shortage of Grade A offices in the city centre, especially for the larger occupiers with requirements for 25,000 sq ft and above.

The development team behind One Bankmore Square are extremely confident that this will be the best building in Belfast to meet that demand. In order not to delay delivery, we are preparing to go on site and speculatively develop the building, subject to the granting of planning permission.”

Further information on One Bankmore Square is available at the dedicated website or from joint agents Savills and Lambert Smith Hampton.


General Enquiries

Savills Dublin Commercial


Key Contacts

Simon McEvoy

Simon McEvoy

Divisional Director
Commercial Agency


+44 (0) 28 9026 7831