Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has warned “that any public realm scheme proposed for Hillsborough cannot work if alternative car parking spaces are not identified prior to taking away spaces elsewhere.”
A public meeting took place in the Courthouse on last Tuesday (November 24) to ascertain public views and Mr Poots said there was clearly a lot of opposition to the removal of existing parking spaces.
Speaking at the consultation meeting, Mr Poots described Hillsborough “as a living vibrant village.”
He continued: “The removal of parking on Ballynahinch Street would cause huge problems.
“On Lisburn Street and Main Street, parking is a premium for the local community who are using the local pharmacy, bakery, butchers convenience store or the many other service businesses located in that part of the village. The Square has heavy demand for parking from people using the shops and restaurants/cafes at the top of the village and the removal of virtually all parking in that area would almost certainly harm the businesses in that location.
“Whilst all of us would like to see more aesthetically pleasing pavements, lighting and furniture, none of us want to see local businesses being driven out of the village, tourists coming to Hillsborough will want to see an enhanced offer not a diminished one. Considerably more work needs to be done to bring forward a proposal acceptable to the local community.”