Resident moving out after car park closes

LOCKED UP!. . . Harpers Quay car park, Spencer Road, Waterside. DER0815MC023
LOCKED UP!. . . Harpers Quay car park, Spencer Road, Waterside. DER0815MC023

A young Derry mother says she has been left with no choice but to seek accommodation elsewhere because a car park near her home was chained shut on Sunday.

Sarah O’Kane and her 14 month old son moved into one of the apartments in Harper’s Quay last year.

All of the residents living in Harper’s Quay had an arrangement with an owner of the car park that they could park their vehicles on level eight of the multi-storey car park.

Be that as it may, when the car park was sold recently the new owner erected signs near the entrance stating that the car park would be closed off to the public starting on February 22 at 6pm.

“I usually take my son to visit his granny on a Monday morning so when I went to get into the car on Monday I got a bit of a shock,” said Sarah.

A letter was attached to the windscreen of Sarah’s and all of the other residents’ cars telling them that if they wanted to leave the car park in their vehicles they had to call Downey Property Solicitors.

“I’d seen the signs near the entrance to the car park but I thought that, we, the residents would be able to continue to park our cars there.”

Sarah contacted Downey Property Solicitors and was told that someone would be at the car park at 11am to let her out.

“Since leaving the car park on Monday I haven’t been able to get back in. It’s ridiculous. There are 17 flats in Harper’s Quay; two of them are vacant and I know at least two of the other people who live in the flats don’t own cars. At the very most you were talking about 12 cars.

“I have had to park my car a few streets away so as not to incur any parking fines and anyone with a young child will tell you that transferring a baby to and from a car can be stressful.

“The ease of access I and the other residents enjoyed at Harper’s Quay made a massive difference but because of what’s happened I am going to have to seek somewhere else to live.

“It’s really unfortunate because I really like it there and my wee son is really happy there too.”

The Derry Journal contacted Downey Property Solicitors and was told they had no authority to comment.

Local Sinn Fein councillor, Christopher Jackson, who has been dealing with the issue since the beginning of the week said he had made contact with the new owner.

“Lines of communication are now open and after chatting with the new owner I am confident that an arrangement can be reached which will be satisfactory to everyone involved,” said Colr. Jackson.