The long running saga of Jordan’s Mill car park took another twist this week after Lisburn City Council’s Planning Committee referred the matter to the Planning Service Management Board.
The operators of the city centre car park are seeking permission to continue running the facility temporarily until a suitable development proposal can be drawn up.
The car park has been operating on a temporary basis for the past 12 years and the Planning Service have now said they will no longer approve the continuation of the planning approval.
However, the car park has received wide support from the local community, with almost 6,000 motorists recently signing a petition calling for it to be retained.
The car park has also received support from the majority of Lisburn City Councillors, who agreed it should be allowed to continue operation.
However, one councillor, Ronnie Crawford, said the car park site was central to the development of the city centre and that a proposal must be brought forward to development the land. At the most recent meeting of Lisburn City Council’s Planning Committee on Monday (February 3), the Planning Service said it was refusing the planning application for the retention of the car park, stating that a “need for car parking within the area has not been identified.”
The planners also stated: “The applicant does not include other programmed proposals to develop/redevelop the site.”
At the meeting Alderman Jim Dillon proposed the application should be sent to the Planning Service Management Board to be reviewed.
Mr Dillon’s proposal was agreed by the committee and the planning application for the temporary retention of the Antrim Street car park for another year will now be reviewed by the Management Board before being brought back to a later meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee.
Councillor Allan Ewart commented: “I fully support the decision of council to send this application to the Management Board, hopefully to overturn the decision. As Chair of Economic Development along with Council officials we have been working together with developers to try and get this site fully developed, but in the present economic climate this has been difficult. Discussions are still on going,” he added.