Planners recommend refusal for 65-bed roadside hotel at Applegreen Ballymena

PLANNING officials have recommended rejecting a bid for a 65-bedroom roadside hotel next to the Applegreen services in Ballymena.

Kilrea-based Chic Ltd is behind the £5.8 million bid for the 45,000 sq ft Crankill Hotel. The company has indicated around 30 jobs could be created by the new hospitality venture.

The company is owned by well-known retailer Kenny Bradley, who owns a chain of supermarkets and fuel forecourts across the north.

The proposal centres on a site at 153 Crankill Road, some six miles north of Ballymena.

Mr Bradley previously developed the services operation on the busy A26 dual carriageway, which links Ballymena and Ballymoney.

But planning officials have said they do not accept that safe vehicular access can be achieved for the proposed hotel.

In a report prepared for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's planning committee on Thursday, planners said: “The principle and majority of the details of the proposed hotel are acceptable at this location.

"However, despite numerous attempts, the applicant has been unable to demonstrate that safe vehicular access can be achieved.”

Accordingly the report recommends refusal for Chic Ltd's application. That recommendation will be considered during Thursday's meeting of the planning committee.

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