The Gasworks Northern Fringe is a substantial piece of land stretching from Cromac Street to the River Lagan, between the Gasworks Business Park and the Market community. The site is owned by Belfast City Council and was zoned in its entirety for much needed social housing – there are over 113 homeless families in the Market – public land zoned for the public good.
Despite the zoning and demonstrable need for more housing, the 2016 and 2017 draft masterplans for the site contained no housing. In August 2017 – without having adopted a masterplan for the Northern Fringe – Council also gave the Radisson Hotel planning permission for an office extension. This decision in effect rendered the zoning for social housing null and void. In response to this Market residents organised themselves into the grass roots Homes Now campaign, and began to lobby for the site to be utilised for its original purpose.