Green light for major new Derry hotel

Approval was sought to transform the Strand Bar complex into a hotel.
Approval was sought to transform the Strand Bar complex into a hotel.

Plans for a new 116-bedroom hotel in Derry have been given the go ahead by Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee.

Unanimous approval was granted by Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee at its September meeting on Wednesday.

The new hotel venture is located at the former Strand Bar complex along the bottom of Great James Street and onto Strand Road.

The £multi-million project is expected that the project will involve the creation of dozens of jobs and provide an economic boost to the lower city centre area.

It includes former Strand Bar and Flamin’ Jacks site as well as a vacant site next to it.

A planning officer said it included plans for a ground floor restaurant.

Sinn Fein Councillor Christopher Jackson proposed the committee accept the recommendation to approve.

He said: “This is something we have all eagerly anticipated. This development will be key to the redevelopment of that area and will breathe new life into that part of the city centre.

“We want to see that development happen and the hotel built,” he added.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins asked if there was any associated parking with the development.

A Planning officer responded that because the development was in the city centre, there was no onus to provide parking under the Derry Area Plan, and asking that such developments provide parking might not be feasible in such a densely packed area.

Colr. Dobbins, and her party colleague, Committee Chairman John Boyle, raised concerns after being told the loading and deliveries would take place to the rear of the development at Edward Street.

Colr. Dobbins said “three prams side by side” would have difficulty accessing Edward Street.

Colr. Boyle said there may be safety issues with people walking in the area.

However Colr. Jackson said that this was an issue common to all city centre developments and called for “a degree of common sense”.

A Planning officer said, under questioning, that a decision could be taken to approve the application with a condition that talks take place with Transport NI regarding deliveries.