Plans for £1m hotel outside Ballymena approved

Plans for £1m hotel outside Ballymena approved

A proposal to build a £1m hotel outside Ballymena has been approved by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee.

The 65-bedroom property will be built next to the Applegreen Service Station on the site of the former Fort Royal complex .

It will include a lobby, bar and restaurant and a car park with 91 spaces, with access via the adjacent Applegreen.

Plans for the three-storey development were approved despite a recommendation by planning officers to refuse them amid concerns over road safety and the amount of traffic generated by the development.

Planning consultant Gavin Rolston told the meeting the proposed hotel would be a £1m investment in the borough and would create a “significant number” of jobs.

“It would be a significant addition to existing tourist accommodation in the borough,” he noted.

He said it was “very frustrating” that the Department for Infrastructure “continues to object despite failing to provide an explanation of how they come to their conclusion”.

Committee vice-chair, DUP councillor Angela Smyth, asked about peak road usage during hotel check-in and departure times compared to those of a restaurant and suggested that most commuters would have already passed by those times.