Northern Ireland news

Jim Allister challenges planning approval for £20m hotel complex on north coast

An artist's impression of the proposed hotel complex in Portstewart

TUV leader Jim Allister has secured the right to challenge planning approval for a £20m hotel and leisure complex at the heart of the North West 200 race route.

The North Antrim MLA was granted leave at the High Court to seek a judicial review of the permission to build the luxury accommodation facilities in Portstewart.

Earlier this year Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council gave the green light to developers.

The plans include a 120-bedroom hotel, spa, holiday cottages, conference facilities and restaurant on Ballyreagh Road, beside the North West 200 paddock.

Planning permission was first given in June 2017, but withdrawn after Mr Allister initially threatened legal action.

He recommenced judicial review proceedings when council representatives passed the application for a second time.

Grounds of challenge include claims that the environmental screening process for the proposed coastal location was flawed.

Lawyers also contend that the council failed to make the planning committee aware of an alleged interest the local authority has in the land.

Mr Allister issued proceedings along with another local resident.

At court yesterday leave to apply for judicial review was granted on the basis that an arguable case has been established.

Mr Justice McCloskey agreed to list the case for a full hearing in October.

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