Belfast Telegraph

Plans for city centre hotels is agreed by operator

By Margaret Canning

An international operator has been signed up to operate two proposed hotels in the centre of Belfast.

The developer behind the Great Victoria Street area schemes yesterday confirmed an agreement and lease were in place with French company Accor.

Seamus Gillan, owner of Co Londonderry water engineering company BSG, said two applications had been made to the Department of Environment for planning permission for the hotels.

One will be a two-star Etap and the other a four-star Novotel.

Mr Gillan said he had to raise the funds for the hotels, which are proposed for sites once owned by Co Tyrone developer Peter Dolan's Jermon Group but which later went into receivership.

The entire Jermon Group collapsed last year and loans on a number of its properties were absorbed by the Republic's bad bank, Nama.

Mr Gillan said the hotel plans should win the support of Planning Service. "It's going to create a lot of jobs and bring much benefit to the area," he said.

The businessman said he believed there was demand for hotels in the Great Victoria Street region.

"It is based on Accor's research and they wouldn't move in if they didn't think there was a market there," he said.

The Dublin Road application is for a 147-bedroom hotel on a site beside pub Filthy McNasty's.

A separate application for a site on Great Victoria Street includes the demolition of Fanum House, a multi-storey building which once housed RTE and the Irish Times.

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