Green light for Northern Ireland hotel's £5m spa extension
A £5m revamp of a Co Antrim hotel, aimed at turning it into a luxury spa retreat, has won planning permission. The family-owned Tullyglass House Hotel lodged an application to build a four-storey extension, tree-top spa and juice bar, among other new features, at the building on Ballymena's Galgorm Road.
Mid and East Antrim's Borough Council approved the developments.
The spa and extra space will create more than 80 jobs while also protecting the existing 200 full and part-time jobs.
As well as attracting customers, the McConville family, who own the hotel, hope to tap into the growing demand from tourists visiting sites associated with HBO smash-hit Game of Thrones, as well as a number of other traditional north coast destinations.
The Tullyglass is one of four well-known hotels in Ballymena, along with the luxury Galgorm Resort & Spa, the three-star Adair Arms and the Leighinmohr House Hotel.
RPP Architects - which is also working on the Hastings Hotels Group's Grand Central - is behind the plans.
Director Alan Shields said: "RPP is delighted that planning permission has been granted for the Tullyglass House Hotel following the completion of pre-application discussion and community consultation processes.
"This permission paves the way for the scheme to move forward and will certainly enhance the hotel's ability to attract more visitors.
"The plans include the addition of 45 elegantly appointed bedrooms, new reception facilities and a boutique spa to include a spa pool, individual treatment rooms, steam room and sauna and an outdoor hot tub terrace area with treetop views."
The Northern Ireland construction sector is witnessing a boom in hotel building, but with the majority of the work confined to Belfast.
In the city, there are some five hotels under construction, including a Grand Central in the city centre and a Maldron at nearby Brunswick Street.
Liverpool-based developer Lawrence Kenwright, from Signature Living, also has plans for up to five hotels in the city, including a George Best-themed venue.