Something must be done with former council HQ

SIR, — I was interested to read in last week’s edition about plans by Newry, Mourne and Down Council to park more vehicles and trailers at its Strangford Road depot in Downpatrick.

The local authority is hoping the Department for Infrastructure will approve its plan to park an additional four vehicles and five trailers at this particular area. If the move is approved, it will take the number of goods vehicles parked at the depot and surrounding land to 36.

Residents who live close to the depot and landowners are being asked for their views on the proposal and I hope people who share my view that this area has become something of an eyesore will respond.

In fact, it could be argued this area — which includes all that remains of Downpatrick’s former workhouse — has become something of a dumping ground for local authority vehicles and equipment, in particular, the area immediately adjacent to the main road.

It would appear that since the former Down Council administrative building at the Strangford Road was bulldozed, this location is now a case of ”out of sight, out of mind” as far as Newry, Mourne and Down Council is concerned.

It is hard to believe that this site was viewed at one stage as a potential base for the new Down Leisure Centre, a hotel and even a new shopping centre. How times have changed.

It would appear that a prime location which could be developed utilising the old workhouse is to forever remain a glorified parking area for council vehicles and equipment which is no longer required. 

Among the items left to rust are metal beacons which were used by community groups across the district during various events which featured bonfires.

As a Strangford Road resident and ratepayer, it is my view that the site of the former Down Council headquarters needs to redeveloped immediately. It must not be left in its current state with the elements taking their toll on the remains of the workhouse and rusty equipment.

Sitting back and doing nothing with this location is not what the ratepayers in Northern Ireland’s third largest local authority area expect to see happening.

Yours etc,


Strangford Road,


(Name and address supplied).