Jim Allister fighting £20m hotel plan at NW200 course

The developers want to build the hotel and leisure complex beside the North West 200 paddock
The developers want to build the hotel and leisure complex beside the North West 200 paddock

TUV leader Jim Allister has secured the right to challenge planning approval for a new £20m hotel and leisure complex at the heart of the North West 200 motorbike race route.

The North Antrim MLA was granted leave at the High Court to seek a judicial review of the permission to build the luxury accommodation facilities in Portsewart.

Earlier this year Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council gave the green light to the developers behind the proposed resort.

The plans include a 120-bedroom hotel, spa, holiday cottages, conference facilities and restaurant being built on the Ballyreagh Road, beside the North West 200 paddock.

Planning permission was first given in June 2017, but withdrawn after Mr Allister initially threatened legal action.

He recommenced judicial review proceedings when council representatives passed the planning application for a second time.

Lawyers for the MLA have mounted a number of grounds of challenge, including claims that the environmental screening process for the proposed coastal location was flawed.

They also contend that the council failed to make the planning committee aware of an alleged interest the local authority has in the land.

Mr Allister issued proceedings along with another local resident in the surrounding area.

At court on Wednesday leave to apply for judicial review was granted on the basis that an arguable case has been established.

Mr Justice McCloskey agreed to list the case for a full hearing in October.