Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Derry hotel and store plan may create 300 jobs

Plans to locate a new 100-bed hotel and food superstore near one of Londonderry’s busiest thoroughfares could create 300 jobs.

The £10m development at is currently being considered by the Planning Service in Belfast.

The proposals for the corner of the Gransha lands complex opposite Caw roundabout and the Foyle Bridge were broadly welcomed yesterday following the delivery of a detailed presentation before Derry City Council’s Planning Committee.

Representatives from Rapport Architects, agents for applicants, Caw Properties Ltd, said talks are now at an advanced stage with a number of international hotel operators and national supermarket companies interested in taking over the two new buildings.

The eight-acre site would be accessed by a roundabout further in from Gransha roundabout. Applications have been lodged for 1,500 new houses in two plots of land beside and opposite the area.

John McGinnis from Rapport said it felt now was “the right time to make an application due to the position we find ourselves in in the market” and said the plans would “benefit this whole area and part of the city”.

His colleague Irwin McNeill said an environmental impact assessment commissioned by the company at a cost of almost £100,000 showed that there were 2,700 vehicles passing alongside the site every hour. As a result of the assessment, not required by planners, the company redrafted its plans to avoid the negligible risk of flooding from a stream running through the plot.

The supermarket, Mr Irwin said, would have underground and ground-level parking, while mature trees and plants would help form a natural cordon between the development and the hospital at Gransha.

SDLP councillor Brenda Stevenson said the proposals were “very exciting” but added that there were concerns over the impact of traffic on residents and road users if all the proposed developments for the area get the go-ahead.

At her suggestion, the agents said it will consult with residents.

Backing the proposals, DUP councillor Maurice Devenney said: “I am delighted to see people are still prepared to invest here in the city of Londonderry in these difficult economic times.

“The issue is an issue for down the road and it is good to see that if there are any roads changes you will be picking up the tab.”

Sinn Fein’s Lynn Fleming said road concerns were a matter of course for any development.

“I would really welcome the investment and job creation,’’ she said, adding that social clauses must be built in.

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