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The site is located on the lands to the south east of the Titanic Hotel, north east of Bell’s Theorem Crescent and south west of Hamilton Road, extending across Queens Road, Olympic Way and to meet Queens Island Wharf and the River Lagan.
The proposal includes plans relating to an aquarium and associated sea intake/outfall infrastructure.
While the construction plans are still in the early phases of development, the project hopes to create approximately 100 jobs comprising 40 operational roles once open, and an estimated 50 – 60 contracting roles throughout construction.
The project will receive an initial capital investment of £10 million.
The project is being funded by private backers. We are not in a position to disclose anything further at this stage.
An Aquarium located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter will contribute to the area’s resilience as a top tourist destination and encourage visitors to stay longer in the city to explore other attractions and the hospitality offering in Belfast.
The design proposals have considered carefully the Aquarium’s potential impact on surrounding heritage assets and this assessment will be included in a Design and Access Statement submitted as part of the planning application.
The proposal’s eaves line is below that of the Cornice height of the listed Titanic Hotel. This was a constraint within the parameter plans for the wider masterplan and we have respected that. Any plant area or construction at roof level, is set well back from the eaves line and does not conflict with the listed building street frontage.
An assessment will be undertaken to demonstrate how the development proposals do not exceed current limits within the Titanic Quarter development framework for road improvements, and submitted as part of the planning application proposals.
A construction management plan will be provided as part of the planning process, which will endeavour to minimise any potential negative impacts on the surrounding area.
In order to begin the development of the Aquarium we must first apply for planning permission from Belfast City Council. As the project is considered a ‘major planning application’ We have submitted a proposal of application notice (PAN) to Belfast City Council, beginning a period of formal community consultation before a planning application is submitted later this year.
A pre-application community consultation event is being held at the Titanic Hotel on: 20 August 2019.
Feedback received will be analysed and will be used to inform the final planning application. A Pre-application community consultation report will be submitted alongside the planning application.
This consultation is open to the all members of the public and we welcome feedback from members of the public, neighbouring businesses and elected representatives.
All feedback submitted will be summarised in a Pre-Application Community Consultation Report which will be submitted alongside the planning application. Personal details will not be shared with a third party and we will not contact you in relation to any other project or for marketing purposes.
The information you provide will be stored securely until determination of the planning applications. Following determination, this information will be deleted. Unless you have indicated otherwise, we will not contact you about this development.
The ReefLIVE Aquarium will tell the story of how our seas are ‘All One Ocean’, showing visitors examples of the fascinating species that live in some of the most spectacular habitats around the world, from Ireland to Indonesia and from the Arctic to the Azores. ReefLIVE prides itself in only selecting species that are suitable for aquarium displays and we’ll seek to ensure the source of our animals is from sustainable sources.
The livestock for the exhibits will be very carefully sourced from responsible and sustainable sources.
We will design and build realistic recreations of natural habitats.
ReeflLIVE will operate in full compliance with the Secretary of State’s Standard for Modern Zoo Practice and the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and The Zoos Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.
It is the intention of ReefLIVE that the new Aquarium will become a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) subsequently by association with BIAZA.
ReefLIVE will be suitable for a wide range of ages. Around 25% of all visitors are expected to be children aged 3-14 years old.
ReefLIVE will place the visitor at the heart of the marine life experience by using high quality live displays with the most innovative aquarium design and build techniques to recreate international marine environments that are ‘the best of the best’, a true inspiration to visitors showing them how the marine environment can and should be, if properly managed and conserved.
ReefLIVE will be a paid-for experience and exhibition. Tickets will be available for purchase at the entrance or online.
There will be a café on site which will serve locally-sourced light refreshments throughout the day. After normal Aquarium hours, ReefLIVE will become a unique venue for events and private hire and we will avail of external catering services for such events.
Exploris in Portaferry is a long-standing, popular destination for day visitors from throughout Northern Ireland and beyond. We predict the appeal of the Ard’s Peninsula and the level of interest by tourists and day visitors in visiting it will remain strong irrespective of developments elsewhere.
ReefLIVE acknowledges that a number of world-class tourist attractions currently reside in Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Our decision to locate the Aquarium in the area is testament to the existing calibre of visitor attractions such as Titanic Belfast and W5, and we believe there is a number of shared benefits available to all nearby enterprises by introducing a new attraction to the district.
It is anticipated that the proposed construction works will not have any impact upon W5 or WAV. The proposed development is adjacent to the listed drawing offices and therefore the construction programme and methods will be closely monitored in order to minimise disruption.
With a unique combination of beautifully curated live aquarium displays, together with state-of the-art digital and audio-visual presentations, ReefLIVE will offer all visitors the chance to experience a series of amazing interactive environment zones, ranging from the Irish Coastline to the North-West Pacific, and on to the coral reefs of Indonesia.
We anticipate the full Aquarium experience to enable a visitor dwell time of 1 ½ - 2 hours.