Council officials are understood to be investigating alleged planning breaches at a Belfast hotel, which is currently the subject of a multi-million pound takeover deal.
The ETAP Hotel at 35 Dublin Road was placed on the market in October 2023, with selling agents CBRE inviting offers starting at £7.175 million.
A deal to buy the hotel is now close, with the transaction understood to be at the legal stage.
But The Irish News understands a planning enforcement case has now been opened by Belfast City Council in relation to the premises occupied by the budget hotel.
A council spokesperson confirmed: “A planning enforcement case has been opened in relation to premises at 35 Dublin Road, Belfast.
“As this is a live investigation, we cannot disclose any detailed information.
“However, we can confirm that no formal enforcement action has been undertaken at this time.”
The investigation is at an early stage, but it’s understood the Department for Infrastructure could become involved in the case.
As well as being the selling agents, CBRE is also the owner of the property.
CBRE declined to comment on the planning enforcement case.
The hotel was built by O’Hare McGovern for Co Derry developer Seamus Gillan’s South Bank Square Ltd in 2013, with Accor signed up as the long-term operator.
CBRE Global Investors later bought the hotel in a £6.6m deal in January 2015.
The property group’s investment arm was rebranded as CBRE Investment Management in 2021.
The latest deal comes 18 months after CBRE Investment Management sold the Four Corners Premier Inn hotel in Belfast’s Cathedral quarter for £12.2m.