An ambitious project by a County Antrim farmer has been given the green light after permission was granted for him to build his own visitors centre and car park at Dunluce Castle.
Sean McKinley, who owns a farm beside the castle on the north coast, plans to build the centre just opposite it.
After a planning debacle that has lasted for seven years, the Planning Appeals Commission has now granted outline planning approval for the development.
It allows for the demolition of the existing tea rooms at Dunluce and some farm buildings.
They will be replaced with a “visitor centre building incorporating tourism, recreational, educational, hot food, retail and conference and office uses”.
Speaking for the first time about his plan, Mr McKinley said: “What we have now at Dunluce Castle isn’t fit for the modern age and doesn’t give a good impression of our Borough or Northern Ireland. We have a wealth of beauty on our doorstep and visitor numbers are increasing every year, which is a very welcome change to the lonely days of the 70’s and 80’s”, said Sean.