New Northern Ireland 100-bed hotel could create up to 500 jobs
A new multi-million pound development plan for Newtownabbey, which could create up to 500 jobs, has received the green light despite teething issues.
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The proposed £13m office and hotel complex, to be located next to the Valley Leisure Centre on Church Road, Rathcoole, is expected to proceed to the construction phase after Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council granted planning approval on Monday evening.
The hotel will span three storeys with approximately 100 bedrooms. Comtec Development's plan includes a residents' ground floor bar/café and restaurant within the main entrance and lobby area. The separate office block is also intended to be three storeys in height. The developer said the complex could eventually garner £230,000 a year in rates for the local authority.
Comtec, which is owned by developer Alan Wilton, said up to 200 people could be involved in the construction phase, with an estimated 280 permanent jobs created.
The original proposal for the site had included a cinema. But that aspect was dropped in November 2018 after local objections.
A number of petitions were also submitted against the development, gathering 4,692 names in total. The areas of contention included the potential impact on the Movie House cinema in Glengormley, displacement of custom from Glengormley, as well as road safety and traffic concerns.
The site on Church Road is surrounded by the Valley Leisure Centre on the south side, Bombardier to the north and Capita IT and the West Crescent residential area to the east. However, officials anticipated little conflict between the proposal and the established residents.
The developer claimed that the leisure centre could benefit from additional footfall, given its proximity to the hotel.
Comtec said that Bombardier is unlikely to be impacted due to the extent of the intervening car park and the 35m distance of the Bombardier buildings from the shared boundary. It added that the nearby residential area and Capita IT are located on the other side of the road.