Northern Ireland

Aurora skyscraper developer McAlister bankrupt

CGI of Aurora building
Image caption A computer generated image of the Aurora building on Belfast's skyline

The developer who had planned to build what would have been Belfast's tallest skyscraper has been declared bankrupt.

Mervyn McAlister had hoped to develop a 37-storey skyscraper called the Aurora at a site on Great Victoria Street.

The scheme was blocked by planners and in January Anglo Irish Bank put the site into receivership.

Mr McAlister's various companies are continuing to trade. The order was granted by the High Court in Belfast last week and published on Friday.

Anglo appointed a receiver to the Aurora site on 27 January, the same day as it placed two other McAlister sites into receivership.

Those two sites at Greenhall Highway in Coleraine and Dunlady Road in Dundonald were the property of McAlister Construction Ltd.

However, the Aurora site, which is currently a car park, was held by a dedicated company, Sarcon (no.319) Ltd, which was incorporated in 2009.

Mr McAlister, a house builder and hotel owner from Ballycastle, came to prominence in 2007 when he announced the plans for the Aurora at the peak of Northern Ireland's property boom.

In December he announced he was temporarily closing his Ballycastle hotel, the Marine.