Planning Portal

Proposed Giant's Causeway visitor and study centre

Published on Mon, 10 Sep 2007
Environment Minister, Arlene Foster, comments on a privately funded proposal for a new visitors’ centre for the Giant’s Causeway.
The Minister said: “I have recently received a report from the Planning Service on a planning application by Seaport Investments Ltd for a new Visitor and Study Centre at the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site. I have given this report my fullest consideration and have also taken the opportunity to visit the site.
“Having done so, I have concluded that there is considerable merit in what is proposed and I am of a mind to approve it. I have asked my officials to engage with the developer and key local stakeholders on some aspects of the proposal so that I can make a formal decision on it at the earliest opportunity.”
The Minister added: “I am of course conscious that this announcement will have implications for the public sector proposal which has been under development by DETI and the NITB but which has not yet led to a planning application. I understand that my colleague, Nigel Dodds, will be making a separate statement on this issue.”

Notes to Editors:

The planning application, which was accompanied by an Environmental Statement, was submitted on 25th February 2002.
The application seeks outline planning permission for the development of a visitor and study centre – to be located under a grassed circular dome and measuring 2,823 square metres in size – which has been designed to accommodate up to 750,000 visitors per annum and which includes the following elements:
  • An interpretative area, including an audio visual theatre;
  • A 200 seat restaurant, kitchen and related catering space;
  • Retail space for the sale of gifts and souvenirs;
  • Visitor services including a post office and bureau de change;
  • Staff offices and library facilities;
  • Parking provision for 200 cars (the majority of which will be underground) and 8 coaches;
  • A reorganisation of the road access involving a realignment of the Causeway Road, Runkerry Road and the access to the existing car park and visitor centre and Causeway Hotel;
  • A reorganisation of the pedestrian links in and around the site and
  • Reorganisation of the access and car parking facilities at ‘The Nook’ Public House.
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