Plans to relocate the University Of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus to North Belfast have taken a step forward as the university began their consultation process last week. The proposal to move the campus to North Belfast has been in the pipeline for a number of years. The university has purchased the entire block of buildings on York Street and when completed the campus will serve 12,000 students who will relocate from the Jordanstown site. The project represents an investment of £250 million in the area and the university hopes to have full planning approval in place by late 2012.

Contractors are expected to be appointed in mid-2013 with the new campus ready for occupation in 2018.

Last week the university gave a presentation to Belfast City Council’s special development committee on the plans and how they are moving forward.

North Belfast group St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s Housing Committee have also requested a meeting with the university to discuss the proposals. Frank Dempsey from the campaigning group said they have no objection to the university moving to the area but do have a number of questions before they can give their full support.

“As far as St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s are concerned we are not opposed to the University of Ulster coming to the area,” he said.

“What we are opposed to is just hearing sound bites on the plan that aren’t answering the fears of local people. We will want to know how it will impact on the housing waiting list in the area, how will it impact on parking, will it bring long term jobs if they are bringing their own staff from Jordanstown?

“We also have the worry of contentious parades that pass through our area, what will happen when there are thousands of students on the streets when these parades are passing?”

“We will be asking for answers to all these questions when the university makes the presentation to our group.”