A major hotel development for the city’s iconic Ebrington Square got the thumbs up from planners today, with a unanimous vote in favour of the 152-bedroom development.
Two applications were lodged by Ebrington Leisure Holdings Ltd, who propose to transform the central army barracks and neighbouring buildings at Ebrington Square.
They Planning Committee was told at a special meeting on Tuesday that the hotel will boast a new leisure spa, function, meeting room, restaurant and bar facilities, with associated ancillary areas and site works to facilitate access and servicing.
Speaking after the decision, Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Dan Kelly, welcomed the forthcoming development. “I was delighted to see today’s application progress through Committee and I look forward to seeing what will be the transformation of the historic buildings which occupy one of the city’s most strategic investment sites.
“Tourism is a key economic driver for Derry and Strabane and with bed nights on the increase the development of the new hotel is timely, and will be a great asset in terms of growing the city’s capacity to accommodate guests.
“The fact that the hotel is based at one of the city’s most scenic and historic sites will also be a great draw for tourists, especially with the proposed new maritime museum located on site.
“The hotel, in tandem with the additional plans for development of a temporary public car park and a new brewery at the site, will also further enhance the potential of Ebrington Square as a desired and strategic location for other investors to consider.”
Members discussed the merits of the application in great detail at a Special Planning Committee Meeting held in Strabane.
The development will incorporate the refurbishment and re-use of three listed buildings at Ebrington Barracks with a new three storey modern infill addition between Building 63 and the Clock Tower Building 67 - 69 fronting onto Ebrington Square and a new four storey extension to the rear of the Clocktower Building also.
No letters of objection or support were formally submitted during the processing of the planning application.
The site will be accessed via the recently approved but yet to be constructed new access off Limavady Road.