Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Historic buildings `on verge of collapse' face demolition


Castle Street buildings facing demolition.TWO buildings in the heart of Lisburn's Historic Quarter face demolition because they have deteriorated to such an extent part of their structure is 'on the verge of collapse. The news was greeted with dismay last Monday by the City Council's Planning Committee, members of which unanimously agreed representatives of the Environment and Heritage Service should be asked to attend one of its future meetings to discuss the fate of 12 and 14 Castle Street.

This was proposed by former Historic Quarter Chairman Councillor Trevor Lunn after Planning Officer Andrea Todd said she was unable to defer the matter to allow its consideration at an office meeting 'on grounds of health and safety'.

Ms. Todd explained a large part of the roof on the two buildings was 'not there'. She also said both the rafters and floor boards were 'rotting. Mr. Lunn asked if there had been any input into the matter by the Environment and Heritage Service.

He was told they had raised no objection and Ms. Todd re-emphasised the building's 'serious state of disrepair'.

However, Mr. Lunn felt the demolition of the buildings would be 'terrible' and made it clear he felt renovation, like the work carried out in Bridge Street, was the way forward.

His proposal to invite Environment and Heritage Service officials to a future meeting of the Committee was seconded by the current Historic Quarter Chairman Councillor Allan Ewart.

Ms. Todd stressed again planners had taken professional advice on the issue and said the new buildings proposed for the two sites were 'virtually replacements' for the structure currently in position.

Alderman Paul Porter pointed out the Area Plan had identified Castle Street as part of the Conservation Area. He said it was 'not good planning policy' to allow buildings to fall into such a state of disrepair.

"If we are going to have a Conservation Area we should be seeking to maintain it," he added.

No objections were lodged to an application for permission to demolish the two buildings and rebuild.

However, four objections were lodged to a more detailed application to construct two ground floor retail units and four one bedroom

Ulster Star