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Unacceptable delay in Giants Causeway Visitor Centre costing thousands

8 September, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the delays in processing plans for a new Visitors Centre for the Giant's Causeway are totally unacceptable and that these delays are costing the ratepayer thousands of pounds.

Mr McKay said:

"People working in the tourist sector on the North Coast are baffled at the continuing delays in processing the application for a new Visitors' Centre here. The Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Nigel Dodds has stated that progress "has not been as swift as originally anticipated" and local people here suspect that this may be to do with a second application being submitted by the private sector.

"The application for a Visitors Centre submitted by a company which represents the interests of Moyle Council and the National Trust has been with DETI for a considerable period of time now and has still not been cleared to go through the planning process.

"Over £2 million has been spent on this process to date and the longer that this planning application is delayed the more it will cost the ratepayers. I have asked the Enterprise , Trade and Investment Minister how much these delays are costing as some believe it may be in the region of £100,000 a month.

"It is in the best interests of local people that this Visitors' Centre remains under public ownership and the DUP Minister responsible must explain why these delays are taking place." Críoch

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