The following article was published in the BELFAST TELEGRAPH some years ago under the heading
"Big shopping complex plan for Royal Avenue"
Developers are seeking planning permission to build a massive shopping complex at Royal Avenue in Belfast's city centre, it was learned today.
The proposed development includes new shops, car parking, offices, restaurants and licensed premises.
The planning application includes the present site of Smithfield market and the proposed development seeks permission to construct a covered food and market hall.
No details were being released today by the Department of Environment - the planning authority - and Belfast City Council has not yet been consulted about the planning application.
However, traders in the Smithfield area have been told formally about the planning application.
A letter from the Belfast headquarters of the planning department says the site under consideration for the shopping complex stretches from Millfield to Royal Avenue.
The other boundaries are Samuel Street - which runs off Millfield - Winetavern Street, Garfield Street, Berry Street, Smithfield and Francis Street - which is also off Millfield.
According to the document sent by the planning office, the developers seeking planning permission are Ellison Harte Developments and John Laing Development Services.
The description of the development on the planning document reads:
"City centre shopping centre, including shopping, car parking, offices, restaurants, licensed premises, market hall and ancillary uses."
It seems likely that a public inquiry would have to be held before such a decision was taken on whether to grant planning permission for such a development.
The City Council's planning committee was having a meeting late this afternoon and it thought that a planning official from the Department of Environment may tell councillors about the proposed development.