A new 40-bedroom hotel in Newry city centre – costing in excess of £2 million – looks set to be given the go-ahead early next month.
And it is understood the four-storey development – at Hill Street – will also provide a significant employment boost within the hospitality sector when all is signed off.
Armagh I first revealed the proposals back in November 2019.
And we can now report that planning officials are preparing to recommend the new hotel – which also includes a restaurant, gymnasium and coffee shop – should be granted approval.
That is the recommendation which is due to go to the next sitting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s planning committee.
The proposals when submitted related to a site at 90 Hill Street and 10 The Mall, Newry, occupied by Toner’s furniture and soft furnishings store and Children’s Parade at Toners.
The site, according to papers, is listed as “retail and storage” and the application sought a change of use.
As Armagh I reported at the time, the applicant – listed as the Belfast-based Mamboscope Developments Ltd, of which members of the Toner family are directors – was seeking a change of use from the existing to accommodate the 40-bedroom hotel.
The scheme would involve the demolition of a single story infill and the creation of a four-storey extension.
The hotel, in total, would stretch to close to 2,400 sq metres in floorspace.
It is not known exactly how many jobs would be created but it is believed to represent a significant boost on the employment front.
The entrance lobby and reception of the new hotel will have a seated area and be accessed off the Mall, and will include a coffee dock.
The restaurant and bar can be accessed via reception or directly from the Mall, with separate doors to remain open during trading hours.
The coffee shop will have an entrance via Hill Street, situated between Vivo and Harry Corry Interiors stores.
Ground floor plans also include unisex toilet provision, kitchen and laundry facilities, as well as separate toilet and changing facilities for staff and designated area for the hotel porter.
The first, second and third floors – to which both stairs and lift access will be available throughout – will each boast 14 bedrooms.
The last of the bedrooms will be located on the fourth floor.
It is on this floor where hotel guests will have access to a fully-fitted gymnasium, complete with changing accommodation.
The hotel and coffee shop plans have been estimated by CIS to cost in the region of £2.1 million.
The council planning committee will sit next on Wednesday, May 5. Of course, it will, as always, be up to councillors to decide whether or not to accept the recommendation of their own planning officials.
But they do, this new hotel could soon be adding to a growing accommodation sector choice in Newry which already boasts the Canal Court, Mourne Country and a number of other top-quality providers.