Planning permission for a new £20 million hotel and leisure resort on the north coast has been denied following Jim Allister’s win in court.
In March 2018 the Council granted planning permission for a hotel and spa complex on the Ballyreagh Road. The resort would have created nearly 100 full-time jobs, producing almost £2m in salaries, and generate around £6m per annum in the local economy.
However, a High Court judge identified breaches in the process today, suggesting that the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s decision to give the four-star complex near Portstewart the green light was “procedurally unfair”.
According to Mr Justice McCloskey, the TUV leader was not allowed a “fair and reasonable opportunity to make comprehensive, informed representations to either the Planning Committee or the other statutory agency endowed with relevant legal powers”.
Mr Allister’s legal team also said the Council should have considered the application under a policy for a larger-scale tourism attraction.
Whilst dismissing some grounds advanced, Mr Justice McCloskey ruled for Mr Allister in four areas.
He said: “The applicants’ legal challenge succeeds on the grounds of procedural unfairness, breach of the Planning Committee’s Protocol, error of law in respect of Policy CMP3 and breach of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.”
Mr Allister added: “I greatly welcome the decision of the court, after careful scrutiny, to the challenge I brought as a private citizen against a planning decision by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. I will now consider, with my legal advisors, the next steps to be taken in this matter.”