Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has granted planning approval for a conversion and extension to “The Ponderosa” Bar outside Dungiven.

The new facilities will include a coffee shop, new kitchen, toilet facilities, smoking area and relocation of the off licence.

At an altitude of over 900 feet, the Ponderosa is known as “The Highest Pub in Ireland.” It is situated on the Glenshane Pass which is the main road from Derry to Belfast and enjoys tremendous mountain views of the Sperrins.

Mark H Durkan said: “This is a boost for the Dungiven area and provides upgraded facilities for this tourist hotspot. The redevelopment will contribute to the retail/catering and tourist infrastructure and will provide construction jobs in the short term and local employment opportunities in the long term.

“Decisions like this support my vision for a stronger economy through the promotion of tourism.”

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