At the Environmental Services Committee meeting of council on Tuesday 6th September various options were presented to the members for consideration concerning the following in Coleraine :-
- The renewal of a lease on Terrace Row car park ( which is currently a free car park )
- To utilise Coleraine Market Yard as a car park also incorporating a multi usable event area.
- The Waterside car park as an alternative free car park to replace Terrace Row.
A total of 37 off-street car parks were transferred to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council from Transport N.I. on 1/4/2015.
In this mix the Terrace Row car park had been part of a nine year lease @ £36K per year. Council were also responsible for maintenance and cleanliness of the car park.
Commenting, Councillor William McCandless said : “The UUP group on the committee proposed and voted in favour of supporting the option to terminate the lease on Terrace Row, change Waterside car park to a free car park and develop Market Yard to a multi use space which would include a pay and display car park.
The benefits of this were that it provided the best financial option for council, maintained the level of free parking in the town and would assist with improving the commercial life in the west side of the river, and would be the catalyst for development of the Market Yard.”
“A few weeks ago I had been calling for the Market Yard to be used as a car park with a view to further developing it as an area to showcase our locally produced arts, crafts and food and locate them in this historic site which could rival St. George’s Market and provide an additional anchor to keep Coleraine firmly on the tourist map. The site could also be used for outdoor events.
The distinctive walls and gatehouses are an imposing facade and it is an appealing attraction to increase footfall in Coleraine’s commercial heart, extend the commercial heart of the town and assist with its rejuvenation.”
“There is much work to be done yet to fully develop the business case around the Market Yard project, but as a council we need to have the vision to realise that potential. To see an artisan market develop here will be another asset to the town.
I am delighted to see that by approving this proposal we would be assisting the first step in the development of the Market Yard which has not been used for approx. 30 years. We need to look to what it can become.”
“By developing the site for car parking we will bring in economic benefits to the town and the council.
Low cost parking for those who work in the town has always been a priority for the UUP and by designating Waterside car park as a free car park we have maintained the status quo in relation to free car parking. ”
“This would keep 3 free car parks in town :- Rose Gardens, Christie Park and Waterside.”