Plans for a new, 87-bedroom, £6.6 million hotel on the site of the former Londonderry Hotel in Portrush have been approved by the Causeway Coast and Glens Planning Committee after an unprecedented level of support for the regeneration scheme.
The project, backed by Belfast based hotel group Andras House, was originally recommended for refusal in part due to concerns raised by Historical Environment Division.
But on Wednesday, councillors overturned the officers’ recommendation and voted in favour of the proposed development which it is claimed will transform the economy and job prospects of the seaside town.
“We are absolutely over the moon with today’s outcome and would like to thank the councillors for reviewing our revised proposals and recognising the huge tourism benefit and economic investment we are seeking to deliver for Portrush and wider Causeway Coast area,” said Andras director Rajesh Rana.
“The councillors acknowledged our commitment to retaining the history of the site and important architectural features which will be preserved along with artefacts, pictures and stories – which will be a true celebration of the area for locals and visitors to enjoy.
“The hotel concept will reflect the heritage of this important site and will retain and preserve the historic features. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the entire development is an asset to this wonderful seaside town.”
The project is set to provide around 50 jobs in the constuction pahes and will employ around 40 when operational, contributing an estimated £1.4ma year to the local economy.
Brian Kelly, director of Turley, the planning consultancy which acted on behalf of Andras said: “Today marks the culmination of almost two years of hard work in partnership with Consarc Design and the wider team.
“We are absolutely delighted that the Council took the decision to approve the proposed application which will respect the balance of the heritage of the listed building with a viable hotel for Portrush. We now look forward to the construction phase of the development which will provide over 48 jobs over the next 2 years.”
The application has been supported by a number of business groups including the FSB, Retail NI, the local chamber of commerce and individual businesses.