Ground works on new £20m Portstewart Hotel to begin 'within months'

The proposed £20m Merrow Hotel and Spa complex in Portstewart
Gareth McKeown

DEVELOPERS behind a £20 million hotel and leisure complex in Portstewart have reaffirmed their commitment to the project in spite of the threat of fresh legal action.

In a statement yesterday the team behind the proposed four-star Merrow Hotel and Spa complex said ground works are due to start in the "coming months", despite news this week that TUV leader and North Antrim MLA, Jim Allister is set to pursue legal action over Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council's decision to approve the plans in January. It is believed Mr Allister will challenge the decision at a High Court in the coming months.

The proposed hotel and spa is set to be built on the Ballyreagh Road adjacent to the start and finish line of the world-renowned North West 200 and could create 100 jobs. Northumberland-based construction and property firm C&V Developments is behind the project, which will be run on its behalf by third-party hotel management company Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts.

The 118-room facility was originally approved at the start of last summer, but in August the council asked the High Court to quash the decision following a threat of legal action from the TUV leader, who owns a holiday-home close to the proposed scheme.

A statement from the hotel said it is aware of the fresh legal action, but remains "committed to progressing this project as planned".

"A previous threat of judicial review led to withdrawal of planning permission granted in June 2017. These delays have had a knock-on effect on local businesses, delaying millions of pounds worth of revenue for the local economy."

"Ground works are scheduled to commence over the coming months and the vision to create a new world of luxury on the north coast can be transformed into a reality. We would like to reassure everyone that our team is committed to progressing this project as planned, regardless of any potential legal action threatened," they added.

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