Plans lodged for Tillies hotel

Plans have been lodged for a hotel and apartments complex for the historic Tillie and Henderson factory site.

In recent days the owners of the former shirt factory site submitted a planning application to the Northern Ireland Planning Service seeking permission to build “a mixed use development” at the city centre location.

The proposal is to construct a 5,600 square metre property out of brown brick - similar to the Richmond Centre - with glass frontage at the Carlisle Circus and Abercorn Road aspects.

The development is to include a 139 bedroom hotel, two retail units and 15 apartments with integral car parking facilities and associated works.

The plans provide for a building with seven floors, three underground and four above ground.

Earlier this year, Rajesh Rana from Andras House - the Belfast based hotels and property firm which owns the site - told Derry City Council that an application would be made to Invest NI for funding to redevelop the site.

He also told councillors that the Andras House that the ‘mid-market’ hotel at the site would cost £10 million.

The son of Indian-born businessman Diljit [Lord] Rana also said that the hotel would create around 80 jobs during the construction period and 70 when completed.

Una Somerville from Todd Architects said the height of the planned building had been reduced to keep it in line with the height of the original shirt factory building to maintain the existing skyline.

Sinn Féin Colr Maeve McLaughlin said if the proposals are approved by the planning service then the building project must create employment locally.

“A £10 million investment and the creation of 70 jobs would be welcomed but it is absolutely vital that social employment clauses are built into any development at the site.

“We will be keeping our eyes on the ball to see that happens. It is also critical that this links into the wider regeneration of the Foyle Valley Gateway area,” she said.

Colr McLaughlin also raised concerns on the need for Invest NI funding for the project.

“This city has not been behind the door in looking for our fair share of INI funding but it has not always come so we will be keeping a close eye on this project,” she said.