City centre car park to shut this weekend

Jordan's Mill car park.
Jordan's Mill car park.

Jordan’s Mill car park in Lisburn city centre will close this weekend, it has been confirmed.

The Ulster Star has been informed that the popular Antrim Street car park will shut at 6pm on Saturday, August 5, bringing an end to a long-running planning dispute concerning the site.

Cllr Luke Poots.

Cllr Luke Poots.

It’s understood the owner of the land, Hercules Jordan, has taken the decision to close the facility after the council’s Planning Committee was advised that it could face legal action should it approve an application for the car park to remain open on a temporary basis while longer-term plans for a mixed use development are progressed.

The committee had been due to meet on Monday, August 7 to make a decision on an application for the retention of the car park for one year. However, the applicant decided to withdraw it, meaning councillors won’t need to make a determination on the issue.

Local DUP politicians Edwin Poots MLA and Cllr Luke Poots, both outspoken supporters of the campaign to keep the car park open, say the move to shut it is bitterly disappointing.

Cllr Poots, Chairman of council’s Planning Committee, said: “I’d like to express my disappointment at the closure of this car park. I voted to keep it open time and time again.

Edwin Poots MLA. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons

Edwin Poots MLA. Pic by Aaron McCracken, Harrisons

“I am disappointed that Trevor Lunn MLA spoke against it in planning meetings previously.

“I believe that 99.9 per cent of the public want this car park to stay open and it is they who’ll lose out now.”

Edwin Poots MLA added: “One of the most accessible and well used car parks in Lisburn is going to be closing. Shopkeepers in the immediate vicinity won’t be happy and the general public who were using it won’t be happy. It was a facility that was well used and well supported.

“Other commercial interests fought a very hard campaign against it, and I feel this closure will be to the detriment of the city. There is no guarantee that people who use this car park will continue to come to Lisburn to do their shopping.”

UUP Cllr Alexander Redpath, former Chairman of the Planning Committee, added: “During my time as Chairman of the Planning Committee the committee voted to approve planning permission for this car park. I was disappointed when this was subsequently overturned.

“I am sad to see this successful business closing and empathise with the very deep concerns that my constituents have expressed at its closure.”

Reacting to an earlier story that the car park was likely to close in the coming weeks, a number of members of the public took to the Ulster Star’s Facebook page to express their disappointment at the move, with several stressing that it would put them off shopping in the city centre.

• Read related story - Jordan’s Mill could close within weeks