Limavady Courthouse will remain open until at least April 2016, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
NI Court Service said it still intends close the building, but only after boundary changes are necessary. Once that happens, the Court Service said the intention remains to transfer Limavady court business to Coleraine.
A NI Court Service spokesperson said: “It remains the intention to close Limavady Courthouse and transfer that business to Coleraine. It will be necessary to bring forward some court boundary changes to facilitate this closure, it is not currently anticipated that any court closures will happen before April 2016. The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) will liaise with the judiciary to consider options for listing the conjoined business at Coleraine. The NICTS will work closely with Land and Property Services (LPS) to ensure compliance with government guidelines on the Disposal of Surplus Public Sector Property and seek alternative uses for the courthouse. It is envisaged that NICTS staff will move with the business in the first instance.”
Limavady solicitor, Peter Jack, represents the Limavady Solicitors’ Association.
“This is common sense. This is what everyone has wanted for a long time,” said Mr. Jack, “but, once again, the Sword of Damocles is being raised above the head of all Limavady court users, and we are once again in a state of limbo. The courthouse should be kept open, not merely for another nine months but for the foreseeable future.
“Why? Because the need is there. I thank all those who have campaigned to keep the courthouse open. This is a victory for common sense.”
Plans to close Limavady Courthouse go as far back as 2002.