Work progressing on £1.75m tourist attraction

Checking out the new �1.75 million Standing Stones tourist accommodation and restaurant development are: (l-r) Alderman James Tinsley; Paul McLarnon, owner of the development, and Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the Council's Development Committee.

Checking out the new �1.75 million Standing Stones tourist accommodation and restaurant development are: (l-r) Alderman James Tinsley; Paul McLarnon, owner of the development, and Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the Council's Development Committee.

Work is under way on the construction of a new £1.75 million tourist accommodation and restaurant development near Divis Mountain.

The Standing Stones development will provide an eight-bed guesthouse with associated parking. Phase two of the project will be a 100-seater restaurant and 16 self-catering units, while phase three will be an area for camping and caravans.

Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, visited the site recently.

Welcoming the start of work on the development, he said: “It is excellent to see this tourism project under way. It represents a significant investment of over £1.75 million in the area and is ideally situated close to the very popular National Trust property, Divis Mountain.

“Tourism is an important source of employment within a dynamic industry and this development is a prime example of changing times as people are starting to take walking holidays and weekend breaks. This complex will offer the perfect support services to the Divis Mountain tourist attraction.

“There are several walking trails on Divis Mountain and the Standing Stones complex will offer nearby accommodation to those walkers from near and far who wish to spend a few days enjoying the trails. The walkers that visit Divis can all avail of this complex when completed from the restaurant to accommodation.”

Cllr Mackin added: “I would like to commend Mr McLarnon (owner of the development) and his architect John McGarrity for bringing this project to the area. It is an ideal example of inward investment and was showcased by the council at its recent stand at MIPIM in London last month.”

Alderman James Tinsley, who represents the area, added: “This project is a good example of innovation and sustainability as there has been a change of use granted for the redundant telecommunications building that used to be on this site.

“Over recent years there has been an annual increase in walkers on Divis Mountain and having a variety of accommodation types in the vicinity can only increase visitor numbers to the area.”