Planners set to reject 100-bed Rostrevor hotel.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Planners set to reject 100-bed Rostrevor hotel. thumbnailAN artistís impression of how the Seven Hills Hotel would look.

PLANS for a 100-bed hotel and spa in Rostrevor look set to be refused by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC).

Planners have recommended that the proposal from Miceal Tinnelly for the Seven Hills Hotel are rejected by the council's planning committee as they feel the applicant has not demonstrated the impact the hotel will have on the area.

There was only one objection lodged against the proposal from the public while the feedback from the pre-application community consultation was "generally supportive".

The site for the hotel is currently an equestrian centre in Carrickbawn Wood to the north of the village and "benefits from spectacular views over Carlingford Lough", according to the planners' report.

The proposal would create a four-star hotel "targeting the upper end of the tourism industry" and would include a spa, leisure (gym) and conference facilities, a restaurant and two lounge bars.

The equestrian centre would be relocated within the site, however the report says that "there are no details of this proposal in the planning application".

It is also adjacent to Rostrevor House Demesne, a short distance east of Green Park Demesne and is in close proximity to Rostrevor House and Carpenham House, which are Grade B listed buildings.

There are Tree Preservation Orders on the adjacent grounds of Rostrevor House and Carrickbawn Wood.

Part of the forested area is classed as Ancient Woodland while the site is close to the Rostrevor Wood Special Area of Conservation and Area of Special Scientific Area.

There is also a convent and a GAA club close by as well as residential and agricultural land.

The report explains that the equestrian centre was given approval in February 1995 and in June 1996 outline planning permission was granted for a caravan park, which was not implemented and has lapsed.

Then, in March 2014, a proposal for a housing scheme for 15 dwellings and three apartments at the entrance off Greenpark Road was approved in March 2014.

In November 2011 a 50 bedroom hotel and spa was approved, but this has also lapsed.

Initially this was for a 100 bedroom hotel but was reduced to 50 bedrooms during processing.

"The developer is now seeking a 100 bedroom hotel to make the investment viable," the report adds.

The planners say that much of the information needed to approve the application has not been provided, indeed that the applicant "has had four opportunities to provide the information necessary to make an informed assessment of the proposal."

As a result they have had to find that the proposal is contrary to a number of planning policies.

In particular the submitted plan does not demonstrate that it will not harm the setting of and planned views within a number of areas of special interest, or the setting of Rostrevor House and Carpenham House.

It is also contrary to the Banbridge, Newry and Mourne Area Plan 2015 as it has not demonstrated that the development will not "adversely affect the intrinsic environment value and character of the designated area an particular features including Green Park, Carpenham and Our Lady of Apostles Missionary Convent.

Also it has not been proven that the plans would not be a prominent feature in the landscape; that is is of an appropriate size and scale for the locality; that it would not affect features of historic parks and listed buildings; while the planners have not received "sufficent information" indicating the visual impact of the proposal.


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