The Planning Committee came across a tough decision at last month's meeting regarding the Endcliffe Hotel in Cliftonville. It was granted planning consent to be rebuilt for housing after it was burned down in 2005, but hasnt been rebuilt according to the plans approved by the Council in 2006 and as the owner, claiming financial problems, has refused to put in a fresh planning application (the Council would be minded to refuse the current building if proposed for a fresh application). Therefore Officers are recommending that an Enforcement Notice be served insisting upon demolition and rebuilding according to the approved plans as no changes would alleviate the problems in the eyes of the Officers.
The Committee chose to do a Site Visit to the property to see it for themselves and therefore to decide at the next meeting on 18th February on whether to issue an Enforcement Notice. Its a very tough call to make. It is very much out of keeping with the adjacent buildings, looking very bland sadly like so many other developments, without any character (we're not expecting masterpieces of architecture, but we surely expect buildings that fit in nicely and show quality) and certainly does not look like the approved plans. Its also obvious that there are people living in the property. It is apparent that conditions of the original planning consent have been breached.
There are questions for the Council to answer as to why the building was allowed to be built as far as it did before the Council noticed. Hopefully this will mean that the Council sharpens up its monitoring operations.