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Belfast hotel plans in doubt

A major hotel development in Belfast could be abandoned due to the loyalist flag protests.

French hospitality firm Accor is trying to get out of its agreement for the planned hotel, the city's Chamber of Trade and Commerce has claimed.

There have been weeks of roadblocks and sporadic violence which has left more than 120 police officers injured, but the situation has been relatively calm in recent days.

Chairman Joe Jordan told Stormont MLAs: "Accor hotels are now saying to me that they want to pull out of the lease for the Novotel. We have lawyers working on that at the minute.

"They are trying to get loopholes to get out of this agreement and the whole reason they are trying to get out is purely based on the last nine weeks."

Accor bills itself as the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, present in 92 countries with more than 3500 hotels and 440,000 rooms.

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