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September 25, 2007

Causeway blueprint at odds with guidelines

A commercial visitor centre blueprint for the Giant’s Causeway is hard to reconcile with official planning guidelines for the location, objectors have alleged. North coast developer Seymour Sweeney is on the brink of securing approval for a new 2,823 square metre centre at the Causeway, housed in a grass dome. His proposed building is some 1,000 square metres larger than premises planned under a public sector scheme that has now been shelved. Environment Minister Arlene Foster controversially revealed earlier this month that she is “of a mind” to approve Mr Sweeney’s proposals. She has been challenged by MLAs on various aspects of this preliminary decision – including how it fits in with her department’s development framework for the district. This document, the draft Northern Area Plan, states that permission should only be granted for “exceptionally modest scale facilities” at the Causeway, which are “necessary to meet the direct needs of visitors” .

Belfast Telegraph

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