Green light for hotel development
A former tyre garage in Newry is set to be transformed into a 120 bed hotel after planning permission was finally given the green light.
Office space will also be provided in the proposed £12 million development.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan announced that planners have given the application the go-ahead, with the decision ratified by Newry and Mourne District Council.
It is more than four years since the planning application by Merit Investments and Properties Ltd - part of the Magherafelt-based Conway Group - was first submitted.
Mr Durkan said the approval for the Downshire Road hotel complex represented "good news" for Newry.
"It's a significant development scheme which will provide a real boost for the city and the surrounding area for many years," he said.
"It will create jobs during the development and construction phases, with more local jobs in the long term.
"The new hotel will benefit tourism potential, providing accommodation in an area that is the gateway to the Mourne Mountains. The additional office accommodation will also offer more choice for the business community.
"What I and DoE (Department of the Environment) are about is creating a better environment and a stronger economy. The decision to approve this hotel will help do that."