Plans approved for extension of restaurant and spa at eco hotel in Co Antrim
Plans to extend the spa and restaurant at the Salthouse Hotel in Ballycastle have been approved by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
The extension of the spa is at basement level and will include an indoor hydro pool, outdoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs, private cabins with hot tubs and a gym.
The planning application also covers the erection of plant room at sub-basement level and extension of the existing hotel bar and restaurant with an outside terrace area and internal staircase on the ground floor.
The Development Management Officer Report says that the development “is in keeping with the design and scale of the adjacent hotel building”.
It adds: “The proposed design and materials are sympathetic to the character of the area of natural beauty (AONB) and the locality and would appear to be largely in accordance with the guidance set out in the Antrim Coast and Glens AONB Design Guide.”
According to the report, there are distant views of the site from the north and north-west but the extension “is single storey and basement level and does not appear prominent when viewed from the north-east”.
It adds: “When viewed from this direction the site also benefits from a backdrop of rising land and mature trees. The additional development including the pergodas and hot tub rooms are small scale and again benefit from a backdrop of rising land.”
Overall, the report concludes that the development “respects the scale and design of the existing buildings on site and includes the use of similar materials including natural stone and dash painted render walls”.
According to the Design and Access Statement submitted with the planning application, due to its popularity, the hotel “has had difficulties accommodating prospective customers wishing to avail of spa or dining facilities,” making the extension necessary.
It continues: “The careful consideration which was given to the design and scale of the hotel extension means that the magnificent hotel views of Rathlin Island and Fairhead can be enjoyed without compromising the integrity of the rural character.
“Great care has been taken in the location, siting and design of the extension to ensure the proposal is sympathetic to the local surroundings, the existing buildings and the character of the AONB.”