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Approval set to be given for luxury guest house, spa and restaurant at old Orchard County Inn

The development - estimated to cost in excess of £2.7m - will be built on the site of the famous Orchard County venue and has the potential to create 20 jobs

Orchard County Inn plans

Ambitious plans to transform the former Orchard County Inn into a luxury spa and guesthouse look set to be approved next month.

An application for the development was first laid before Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council almost two years ago.

Amended plans have since been brought forward and are now to be recommended for approval when ABC Council’s planning committee sits in March.

The overall cost of the development, according to Construction Information Services, is in excess of £2.7 million.

The site of the once thriving famous Orchard County, at Collegelands Road, Charlemont, will be bustling again!

The application for the works was made by Firtree Development Ltd, which is based in Dungannon.

The amended plans, if given the backing of the planning committee, will see the creation of a guesthouse and health spa which will include a beauty salon and treatment rooms.

There will also be a gymnasium.

And on top of all that, a restaurant will help draw people back to this once popular port of call.

The restaurant building will include a function room and two conference rooms with a check-in building, including a gift shop and guest launderette facilities.

And the guesthouse itself will boast 12 luxury en suite rooms.

There will also be five residential units as well as car parking.

As Armagh I first revealed back in 2019, the project has the potential to see the creation of 20 new jobs.

The hope is to revitalise the venue, transforming it into a “high quality but affordable accommodation for families and couples”.

The applicant says it is “confident that the proposals will provide a badly needed facility that will be a huge asset for Armagh/Collegelands and surrounding area”.

And the submission to council reinforces the view that the development will “bring positive economic benefits and assisting Council’s tourism strategy in developing orchards into an international visitor experience”.

An assessment of similar developments found there are very few facilities in Northern Ireland that provide bespoke accommodation for families and that, according to the applicant, “there are none in this area”.

Planning officials are satisfied that the scheme should be allowed to go ahead and it will now be up to councillors to decide whether or not to endorse that opinion next month.

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