Call to turn site into market

Jordan's car park. US1526-548cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Jordan's car park. US1526-548cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

A local businessmen has called for Jordan’s Mill car park to be turned into an indoor St George’s style market.

Sam Brayshay, a local taxi driver, said he approached councillors over a year ago with the idea.

“I would like to propose that the site be developed into a large indoor market in line with St Georges Market in Belfast,” said Mr Brayshay.

“Not only would this help to put the heart back into Lisburn but also encourage young people to open a stall.

“With rent and rates in Lisburn being so high, maybe this would be the answer to the ever decreasing number of shops in the town.”

A spokesperson for Lisburn and Castlereagh Council said they were looking into a number of ideas.

“In relation to the proposal for an indoor/farmers market within the city centre, the council can advise that it is developing a number of events to take place in the newly built public realm area and in different venues across the city,” said the spokesperson.

“Market style events are being considered as part of this events portfolio.”

Councillor Luke Poots said that he was approached by Mr Brayshay but said that he could not comment any further.

Mr Brayshay’s comments come after the long-running saga of the controversial Jordan’s Mill car park took a turn earlier this year. It was revealed that the owners of the car park site lodged a Judicial Review into the decision by the Planning Appeals Commission decision to deny them permission to continue operating the city centre facility.

The car park on Antrim Street has been operating on a temporary basis for over a decade now, with long-term plans to develop the former mill into a mixed use retail and residential complex.

However, whilst plans were being put together for the redevelopment, which would include apartments and shops, the owners of the site had sought permission to operate as a car park.

When permission was denied there was outrage amongst local businesses and shoppers, who said the car park was a vital facility in the heart of the city centre.

Outline planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the site, which will include both residential and retail accommodation.

After their application was refused by the Planning Service, the owners. JIPCO Ltd, appealed the decision, submitting a petition by customers in support of their proposal to keep the car park open.