15/08/2008

Ruane Welcomes Mourne Hotel Plans

The granting of planning permission for a new Co Down hotel has been hailed as "good news for the Mournes".

South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane welcomed the move to allow a new Glassdrumman hotel to be constructed on a seven and a half acre site, near Annalong.

Ms Ruane made her remarks when she met with the developer, Glasgiven Contracts, and said she is impressed with the planned £10 million project, which is set to include a 50-bedroom hotel and around 20 chalets.

The Sinn Fein MLA said: "I believe the well designed complex, at the gateway to the Mournes, is the type of development that may help address some of the current shortfall in affordable hotel accommodation that is impeding tourist development in the Mournes and South Down in general.

"It is also a project that will provide much needed employment for local people as well as giving a boost to the local economy."

Ms Ruance said: "To their credit, the developers have made clear their intention to integrate the building into the existing environment and have included in their plans a filter lane for traffic easement entering and leaving the hotel.

"They have also given assurances they will not be opening a night club in the hotel, which they consider inappropriate for what they are planning."

More people are visiting the south Down area, but limit their stay to one day due to a lack of accommodation, according to Ms Ruane.

"It is essential therefore, that South Down has as wide a range of accommodation available as possible, otherwise the vast majority of tourists will be day trippers and the economic benefits will be negligible," she said.

(PR/JM)

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