New homes and hotel get go-ahead in Londonderry
The construction industry has been given a significant boost after more than 230 new homes, a 116-bed hotel and a children's play area in Londonderry were given planning permission.
A total of 53 apartments on the Foyle Road and 169 new houses in the Waterside were given the green light by Derry City and Strabane District Council's planning committee, alongside plans for the third city centre hotel in recent months.
Planning committee chairman John Boyle said he wanted to see the applicants begin work as soon as possible.
"These applications will give a necessary boost to the construction industry in the short-term and will provide homes for over 230 families in the longer term," Mr Boyle added.
"Along with this, the construction of a new city centre hotel will help grow the tourism industry in the city, which has been one of our success stories since 2012, when we first hosted the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.
"There is another hotel planned for Foyle Street, but the reality is that even with these the demand for hotel bed space and the whole tourism economy in Derry is growing at such a rate that there is room for more hotels in the future."
City centre manager Jim Roddy said: "City centre hotel owners are telling me that the figures for the first quarter of 2016 are up again and they expect this to continue right throughout the rest of the year.
"We all know 2013 was a boom year for us with the City of Culture title. Figures dropped in 2014, as we expected they would, but since that they have grown."