A £ 5million boutique hotel outside Lisburn by James Nesbitt and his business partner will have a design inspired by the arts and crafts movement, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
r Nesbitt and Maurice Brown, through their company Nesbro, want to build the hotel on a scenic location in Drumbeg, close to the Lagan towpath and in the Lagan Valley Regional Park.
This will be Nesbro’s first hotel project, although the duo already operate successful G&H Film and Television Services, which provides amenities such as police cars to TV shows and film sets. Documents filed by planning officers involved in the plans for the Drumvale Hotel indicate that it will have no more than 50 rooms.
An online presentation from Matrix Planning says the site’s case for getting the go-ahead is reinforced by the fact that earlier plans for the site had already obtained a building permit in 2014. The site, which includes a house individual, outbuildings and a tennis court, can be accessed via a long lane off Ballyskeagh Road.
Mr Nesbitt and Mr Brown want to replace them with a luxury boutique hotel, brasserie restaurant, spa and open public space, including formal gardens.
Matrix organized an online community consultation to share information about the project, before filing a planning application with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
It indicates that the proposed Drumvale Hotel is modeled on “elements of art and craft design which were previously deemed acceptable under the prior approval”.
“The form and materials of” arts and crafts “are traditional and sympathetic to this park landscape,” he added.
Arts and crafts were defined by the use of natural materials that blended into the landscape and opposed the industrial revolution.
The previous request was for a large replacement home with a garage.
Donal MacRandal, President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), said: “Northern Ireland was one of the main regions for the arts and crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century. However, the relevance of this architectural style for a particular project depends on the particular context, setting and the sensitivity with which the project is treated. The quality and durability of the design is far more important than any particular architectural style.
“It appears that a demolition is proposed for this project, which will result in the loss of incorporated carbon.
“We encourage the developers to strive for a zero carbon footprint in this development and not begin demolition until its replacement begins on site.”
Residents of the surrounding area have been contacted about the proposals, with a “mix” of responses received so far, according to documents filed by The Matrix.
He did not respond to a request for further information on the grounds for the criticisms made.
Groups that should have a say when a planning application is made include Lagan Valley Regional Park and the Drumbeg Residents Association.
The park said it had not yet been able to discuss the project in its planning committee and the association could not be reached.
Download the Belfast Telegraph app
Get quick and easy access to the latest news, sports, business and opinion from Northern Ireland with the Belfast Telegraph app.