|Swanston's linen warehouse, Belfast. Credit: www.uahs.org.uk.|
The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society who brought the legal action state that:
"This is a significant ruling; it reaffirms the importance of applying planning policy thoroughly in Northern Ireland’s Conservation Areas, recognising their contribution to the built environment and defending their unique character. Without good planning policies and their proper application and enforcement the heritage streetscape that gives Northern Ireland its unique character will be diminished by design that has neither a cultural or historic relationship with its locality. Conservation Areas are special places with enormous potential to create long-term economic prosperity. In order to realise that potential, those charged with looking after them need to defend buildings of character, such as this 19th century warehouse. We trust that this will set an example for the new councils and that they will have the vision to ensure these finite assets are not further diminished, but are retained and put to productive uses."
To find out more about Swanston's linen warehouse and the work of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society visit: www.uahs.org.uk.