Closure of courthouse to be ‘vigorously opposed’

A REPORT released by the Assembly has revealed proposals to close Lisburn’s Courthouse by 2015.

The report, which was produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009, was never made public. However, this week it was released and proved to be highly critical of the structural state of the local court, which it said was of a poor standard.

The Criminal Justice Inspection Report concluded that Lisburn Courthouse was not ‘fit for purpose’. In fact, only two other courthouses - Larne and Limavady - scored lower in the assessment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Lisburn still ranks as poor quality despite recent expenditure,” it stated.

But the proposals have been criticised by Lagan Valley Assembly Member and Stormont Justice Committee Chairman Paul Givan, who has said that rather than removing the court facility from Lisburn, the city should be given a new, purpose built courthouse, fit for the 21st century.

He insisted that any plans to close the courthouse would be ‘vigorously opposed’.

“I was surprised the report revealed a consultancy report carried out by PWC in 2009 on behalf of the Court Service recommended Lisburn court should close by 2015” he said. “This report was never made public and clearly the financial environment the Northern Ireland Executive is in means its recommendations for major capital builds is now redundant and the closure of Lisburn Courthouse in 2015 is not an option. Nevertheless, I am concerned this recommendation was ever made.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As the Minister for Justice has announced he is commissioning the Northern Ireland Court Service to develop an estate strategy following the CJI Report, I will be calling officials before the Justice Committee to outline the terms of reference for this review and I will be presenting the case for a new courthouse to be built and located in Lisburn.

“Lisburn is ideally located for a new courthouse given the close proximity of Maghaberry Prison and that Public Prosecution Service staff are based in Lisburn. Any attempt to close it will be vigorously opposed.”

• What do you think of the proposals to close Lisburn courthouse? Is this a vital part of the city? Should a new court be built on a different site? What should the existing site be used for if the courthouse is closed? Share your opinions. Contact us by emailing [email protected], tweet us @LisburnStar, share your views on Facebook at or contact us on 9267 9111.