East Derry SDLP MLA John Dallat has slammed the Department of Justive after figures revealed £261,802 was spent on maintenance and repairs of Limavady Courthouse that is scheduled for closure.
The information was disclosed in a response to a written question by Mr. Dallat who is against closing Limavady Courthouse.
“When this facility closes, solicitors, those seeking justice and defendants will have to travel either to Coleraine, Derry or Antrim for court hearings, which often have a capacity for lasting more than one day or be postponed several times before getting down to business.
“£261,802 is a lot of money, would provide a lot of care packages or hip replacement operations but instead has been spent on a building which is now deemed to be surplus to requirements.
“The building is not listed and, therefore, does not benefit from any of the planning restrictions which could preserve it in the future.”
Mr Dallat added that he had been assured David Ford has assured him the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service “will work closely with Land and Property Services to ensure the courthouse is disposed of in accordance with Department of Finance and Personnel guidelines on the Disposal of Surplus Public Sector Property in Northern Ireland”.
“However, in terms of protecting the architecture of the building this is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike, unless someone with an idea which embraces the design of the building and incorporates it into a new proposal then another landmark in Limavady’s disappearing architecture is inevitable,” added Mr Dallat.