Proposed Distillery

Thompson Dock Pump-House



We are inviting your views on a proposal for the change of use of the pump-house building adjacent to the Thompson Dry Dock in Belfast, from an existing café/restaurant to a distillery with associated ancillary visitor tour facilities. The feedback received will help to inform the planning application that will be submitted to Belfast City Council.

Application Site

The application site comprises the existing pump-house building that sits adjacent to the Thompson Dry Dock, where the Titanic and other ships were constructed.  The pump-house is a listed building (grade B1), and the dock is a scheduled monument, which are both protected built heritage assets.  At present, the pump-house is in use as a café/restaurant.  The application site also includes the car park of the neighbouring Northern Ireland Science Park (also known as the Innovation Centre), which has spare capacity to accommodate the parking required to serve the proposal, and areas of the Thompson Dock and surrounding road network for circulation and servicing requirements.  A copy of the site location plan can be viewed and downloaded below, together with the existing floor plans and elevations for the pump-house building:

The Proposal

The current draft proposal seeks to convert the existing pump-house building to a working distillery.  All distillery equipment and new internal mezzanine floors are intended to be supported by a floating structure within the pump-house to avoid any harmful intrusive works to the fabric of that listed building.  All pump equipment and associated internal historic features of the building will also be retained in-situ and available to view as part of the visitor tour.  A small area of external plant will occupy a floating concrete plinth to the north of the building, with no intrusive works proposed to the scheduled Thompson Dock  New hard landscaping is proposed in front of the entrance, which will match that already in place in the area around the HMS Caroline visitor attraction, adjacent to the site.  The external appearance of the listed pump-house building will not be affected by the development, with all services entering the building through pre-existing openings in the northern elevation.  A copy of the draft site plan, floor plans, sections and elevations can be viewed and downloaded below.  Note that the proposed elevations are the same as the existing elevations because no external works to the elevations of the building are proposed:


We would appreciate any feedback you might have in response to the draft proposals. All your comments will be considered before a planning application will be submitted to the Council.

Please email all comments to, or post to:

O'Toole & Starkey Ltd, Arthur House, 41 Arthur Street, Belfast, BT1 4GB


Please also get in touch if you would like any further information.  Our full contact details are below and on our Contact page.  We are happy to facilitate video conferencing on request to allow an opportunity to discuss the proposals with members of the design team.

All comments should be provided before the end of 31st December 2020 to ensure they are given consideration before submission of the formal planning application.


Next Steps

Following the conclusion of this pre-application public consultation, all comments will be reviewed. Once considered, relevant changes may be made to the development and all comments, including a summary of the key concerns and the applicant’s responses will be included in a Pre-Application Community Consultation Report.  This report will accompany the application submission.

Supporting technical and environmental documents will be finalised to accompany the application.  Once complete, the supporting documents and final proposed drawings will be submitted with the Pre-Application Community Consultation Report as a planning application to the Council for consideration and determination.

Once the application is validated, the Council will proceed with its own statutory consultation. The Council will notify the local community about the consultation and application process and how they can participate.


O'Toole & Starkey Ltd

Arthur House, 41 Arthur St, Belfast, BT1 4GB

Tel: 028 9044 6310