US developer given green light for new £3.3m Newcastle hotel

The site on Central Promenade in Newcastle set to become a new 41-bedroom hotel
Gareth McKeown

A NEW multi-million pound Co Down hotel has been given the green light for development.

The former post office delivery office on Central Promenade in Newcastle is set to become the town's latest hotel after approval was granted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council last week.

The plans, being brought forward by US firm Armau LLC, will see the creation of a 41-bedroom hotel, along with a roof top restaurant and ground floor café, as well as car parking.

The design is said to have been inspired by the old three-storey Bellevue Hotel, which held a prominent position on Central Promenade before it was destroyed by a fire in 1907.

The New York-based developer submitted the planning application for the almost 34,000 sq ft site last July and the reported £3.3 million development could create as many as 45 local hospitality jobs.

Accompanying documents have also estimated the hotel would achieve average annual turnover of £2.1m and generate around £800,000 a year in wages for the local economy.

In a submission last year the US developer said there is a demand for further tourist accommodation in the town.

“There is a significant economic argument with clearly demonstrable benefits which will have a positive impact on the local community mainly through the creation of jobs, the increase in other local business through visitors attracted to the hotel and through the regeneration of a site within Newcastle which has been vacant for over 10 years," they said.

The prominent town centre site has been used as the location for a fun fair since Royal Mail vacated it over a decade ago.

The Newcastle site was also previously earmarked for a retail and residential scheme comprising 14 apartments and two shop units, but development never materalised following planning approval.

The new hotel will add further accommodation to the popular seaside resort and is set to challenge established rivals including; the Slieve Donard, Burrendale and Avoca Hotels.

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