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The Irish franchise holders of the Starbucks brand want to open a “drive thru” coffee shop within a recently revamped north Belfast retail park.

An application for planning permission has been lodged by the two brothers who control the island of Ireland franchise for the Seattle-headquartered coffee shop giant. If it is a Starbucks, it will be the first in north Belfast beyond the nearby city centre.

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Ciaran and Colm Butler, through their company Raspet Limited, have asked permission to build in what is currently a car park at the Hillside Retail Park on the Crumlin Road, now anchored by Lidl following the February opening of its store on the site. They want to build a “Drive-Thru Coffee Shop with Erection of Single Storey Coffee Shop”, according to the planning application.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Lidl opened the doors of its Hillview Retail Park store in February following the revamp after more than a decade lying derelict.

The Crumlin Road site is owned by Killultagh Estate’s Hillview Belfast Limited, which announced last year that Home Bargains and a day centre for the elderly will also be tenants.

Meanwhile, a former city centre taxi depot is to be turned into a restaurant if planning permission is granted.

And the planned restaurant on Union Street, just behind the old Belfast Telegraph building, may well be Greek-style if the name of the developers offers a clue.

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Kyrillos Investments, which is owned by London-based Mary and Michael Kyriacou, has lodged planning permission to transform the old A1 depot into the restaurant.

The plan is to extend the ground floor and turn the first and second into two one bed apartments accessed from Little Donegall Street.

Architect Rory Caithness of Caithness Architects on the Holywood Road was not immediately able to reveal further details, and the developers did not respond to a request for comment.

By John Breslin

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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