Adapting to the times and opening new horizons
Belfast is a renowned shipbuilding city. Harland and Wolff employed thousands of men to build some of the most famous ships for the White Star Line, including the Titanic and HMHS Britannic. During the First and Second World Wars, a 35,000-strong workforce built ships, tanks and artillery and repaired more than 20,000 vessels. Unfortunately, because of a global shift toward jet-powered airliners in the 1950s, coupled with competition from Japan, the UK’s shipbuilding industry and its areas began to decline in the 1960s, including Belfast’s City Quays.
Belfast Harbour Authority proposed regenerating land around the City Quays area and put forward viable redevelopment plans for transforming the 6-ha site into a vibrant environment where businesses are supported by retail, residential and leisure uses. To complete its environmental obligations, Belfast Harbour Authority contracted RSK to write the flooding chapter for the environmental impact assessment of the site masterplan.
Writing a new chapter in Belfast’s history
RSK completed a flood risk assessment for the flooding chapter. Regional experts consulted and liaised with local authorities, drainage design consultants and the Rivers Agency, Northern Ireland’s statutory drainage and flood defence authority. RSK’s in-depth meetings with the lead architect ensured that the proposed design met the planning and regulatory requirements set out in the Planning Policy Statement 15. RSK’s work informed the site masterplan. By 2016, the first businesses moved into the premises.