‘Sad day’ as Jordan’s car park closes

Ken O'Neill, manager, Jill Smith and Nicholas O'Neill, some of the staff at Jordan's Mill car park which was forced to close this week. US1541-542cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Ken O'Neill, manager, Jill Smith and Nicholas O'Neill, some of the staff at Jordan's Mill car park which was forced to close this week. US1541-542cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

The closure of Jordan’s Mill car park on Tuesday has been described as a ‘sad day’ for Lisburn.

After years of legal wrangling the car park, based at Antrim Street for 16 years, was forced to close following a ruling by the Planning Appeals Commission. It employed four people.

Jordan’s Mill has been based at the site for over 
80 years.

A statement from Jordan’s Mill said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ with 
the outcome. “We would like to express our immense appreciation to our loyal customers who have used the car park over the years and in particular a huge thank you to our employees,” the statement read.

“Jordan’s Mill’s efforts to keep the car park open have been carried out over a costly and protracted period while it argued that the car park is an essential amenity to the city centre during extremely difficult trading times.

“However, the Commission accepted there was adequate provision of car parking spaces in other areas of the city to meet requirements, notably in multi storey car parks and car parks on 
the periphery of the city.”

It went on, “This was despite petitions and surveys which quite clearly demonstrated public and local traders preference for surface level car parking in the immediate vicinity of the city centre shopping area.

“Local businesses supported the retention of the car park on the grounds of the contribution it made to their businesses in very difficult trading circumstances and commercial vehicle owners have expressed great concern over their future accessibility to logistical and suitable car parking spaces.”

Ken O’Neill, Car Park Manager said, “I know this is a business but it’s also a hub of the community. It’s the car park of choice not just because of its location and being at surface level but because people know they can expect us to be ready to lend a helping hand.

“I’m really proud of the team. We’ve a great relationship with our customers and local traders. We really feel part of the heart of Lisburn. We’ve been inundated with concern and good wishes. This closure could spell the end of 80 years of Jordan’s trading in the City. It’s going to be a real miss.’

The statement read, “Whilst the owners of Jordan’s Mill acknowledge that the use of the site as a car park was only ever intended to be temporary, it was hoped that a measured response would have been to maintain the land for parking until a viable development of the larger site became available in line with Lisburn City and Castlereagh Council’s Masterplan and commercial demand.

“A vacant and inactive site of such volume in the middle of the city is clearly at odds with the aspirations of the Council and it’s citizens.

The owners will continue to work enthusiastically with Lisburn City and Castlereagh Council to explore all viable opportunities for the development of the site.”

Mr Dillon said he had concerns the site would be lying empty.

“There we have it, close down a car park in a busy place like Lisburn just before Christmas,” Mr Dillon said.

“It makes no sense whatsoever. It should have been allowed to trade as a car park at least until something else was found.”