Future of car park still hangs in the balance

A decision on the future of Jordan's Mill car park has been put on hold until next month to give councillors more time to consider the matter.

Jordan's Mill car park, Lisburn.

Members of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Planning Committee have been asked to give further consideration to their decision to approve the reopening of the Antrim Street car park.

The committee had been due to discuss the matter on Monday, March 6, but it was taken off the agenda at the last-minute after the council received “additional information” - understood to have been an economic report making the case for keeping the car park open.

A council spokesperson said: “An application in relation to planning permission for a temporary car park at the former Jordan’s Mill Site was removed from the schedule of the council’s Planning Committee in March to enable the committee to consider further additional information it recently received.”

Planning Committee members approved the temporary reopening of the car park in late 2016, for a maximum period of two years. However, that decision has proven unpopular with a number of other car park owners in the city and it’s understood the council could be facing a possible legal challenge for giving the green light for the facility to reopen.

The car park had been closed for almost a year after its owners were served with an enforcement notice by the council. But its reopening has been warmly welcomed by local traders and shoppers, with many arguing that its closure was detrimental to businesses in the surrounding area.

The Jordan’s Mill site has been earmarked for a longer term redevelopment project, which could include new residential properties and commercial units.

A decision on whether or not the car park should be allowed to stay open is now expected to be taken when committee members meet again on Monday, April 3. However, any decision could be subject to a legal challenge.