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Plans for £14m hotel overlooking Carlingford Lough resurface – with approval now in view on horizon

Outline planning approval to be recommended after application previously refused

Seven Hills Hotel and Spa

Eight-months after officials sunk plans to build a new £14 million hotel and spa overlooking Carlingford Lough and the development has resurfaced – with a brighter outcome now sighted on the horizon!

Armagh I reported last May that a bid to secure outline planning approval for the 100-bedroom hotel at Rostrevor had not found favour.

It had been earmarked for a 35-acre site at Greenpark Road.

The man behind the four-star hotel and spa proposal is Miceal Tinnelly, who had said he wanted to target the upper end of the tourism market.

An application for outline planning permission had been made in summer 2017.

It was to be known as the Seven Hills Hotel and Spa, and face out on to Carlingford Lough at the foot of the scenic Mourne Mountains.

The full proposal consisted of a 4-star, 100-bedroom hotel, including a spa, leisure gym, conference facilities, a restaurant and two lounge bars.

Papers submitted with the application indicated that some 70 jobs would be created if the work is allowed to proceed.

But planning authorities recommended the application should be refused.

In reaching that recommendation, it said that not enough information had been provided in relation to its impact and whether it would respect “planned views from Rostrevor House and Green Park”.

They ruled that they “cannot continue to hold the application while the agent fails to provide the necessary information”.

Outline planning approval had previously been given for a 50-bedroom hotel on the site in November 2011 but this has since lapsed. The original application had been for a 100-bedroom hotel but this had been reduced during processing. Updated plans later came forward for 100-bedrooms to make the “investment viable”.

The application was since resubmitted.

And this week, according to the case officer assigned the application, the agent after “seven attempts” had provided sufficient information for Historic Environment Division.

It had now been “demonstrated that the proposal will respect planned views” from Rostrevor House and Green Park.

In doing so, officials are prepared to recommend the new hotel and spa can be built.

That will be the opinion to go to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s planning committee in February.

If accepted, one of the conditions is that the applicant submits papers to address reserved matters within the next three years.

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