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Merchant owners new 58-room Belfast hotel called Bullitt set to get green light

By John Mulgrew

Published 14/12/2015

An artist’s impression of the Beannchor group's new 'Bullitt' hotel
An artist’s impression of the Beannchor group's new 'Bullitt' hotel

A new £4m 58-bedroom hotel from the owners of The Merchant Hotel in Belfast looks set to get the green light tomorrow night.

One hundred new jobs will be created when the new Bullitt hotel - seemingly inspired by the Steve McQueen classic of the same name - opens in Belfast city centre next spring.

The planned hotel will be based between Victoria Street and Ann Street, at the old Lagan House building.

It's now been put forward for approval at Tuesday night's planning committee meeting at Belfast City Council.

The team behind the four-storey hotel say it will "epitomise urban chic with stylish, contemporary surroundings, alongside affordable room rates".

The complex will also include a public work space with desktop computer access for residents and non-residents, high speed wi-fi and charging points for phones.

And there will also be a ground floor restaurant with a courtyard garden.

James Sinton, director of Beannchor Group, said he was "optimistic about the outcome of the planning application".

"The development will create 100 new jobs and will bring much needed regeneration to a prime location on Ann Street, Victoria Street and Church Lane.

"The project is simply a change of use for an existing vacant building and the hotel's location - on the doorstep of Belfast's main shopping district - will bring something new to the area's hospitality offering.

"In addition to the positive socio-economic impact of the business, it will assist in fulfilling the demand for additional hotel bedrooms in the city centre, which is expected to increase in 2016 alongside the Belfast Waterfront upgrade, particularly in terms of business tourism and conference delegates."

The latest planning documents say the application is for a "change of use and extension of existing office building to provide hotel accommodation".

According to documents prepared for Belfast City Council tomorrow, "no letters of objection have been received" in relation to the development.

The extension also involves adding an additional storey, recessed back into the building, to add an extra 10 bedrooms.

The grand hotel will be clad in a dark reflective glazing.

And planners have said the hotel site is "within a prime city centre location" which will "bring increased vitality and viability" into the city centre.

Conall Wolsey of Beannchor has said the "life of the hotel" will be based around the ground floor bar, restaurant and coffee shop.

"We see this space being used day and night by a range of people, not just hotel guests. It will be a place where people can work, relax and socialise, within Belfast's vibrant social scene in the heart of the city centre," he said.

The city centre spot is the latest in a string of major hotel developments under way in Belfast.

Earlier this month, plans were revealed for the new City Quays development, which will include 190 bedrooms across a nine-storey building.

More than 20 are now at various stages, with work already having started on a number in the city.

Work will also begin soon on the new £30m Grand Central hotel at the 23-storey Windsor House building in Belfast, according to boss Howard Hastings.

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