Belfast Telegraph

New chapter for Moira police station after century in village

By Michelle Weir

A former Co Down police station could provide "an exceptional development opportunity" for the right buyer, according to estate agency Lisney.

The PSNI estate at Main Street Moira is currently on the market.

It has been described by Lisney as "an extensive town centre opportunity".

It is located on a 0.59 acre site with prominent frontage on to Main Street.

It is understood that the police station closed a couple of years ago after it had been extensively renovated at a cost of several million pounds.

UUP councillor Jim Dillon, a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh Council, said the property could be transformed into a bed and breakfast business.

He said: "It is a terrible tragedy to see the police station closed but the decision has been taken."

He indicated that a police station had been part of the Moira community for at least a century.

Mr Dillon added: "I would like to see the building back in use again, possibly as a B&B or maybe a community facility such as a nursery school."

The local business community would also support commercial activity at the site.

Barbara Hughes, proprietor of The Stillhouse in Moira and Hughes Craft Distillery, Lisburn, said that she would welcome new accommodation in the village.

"There is a lot happening in Moira. It is a foodie destination. A new bed and breakfast sounds like a good idea," she said.

"There is so much going on in the region. We have just recently renovated an old pub, formerly known as The Four Trees, and now we have moved the craft distillery in. It is now a gastro pub.

"One of the exciting things we are doing is a spring school opening where people can come to make their own spirits.

"It is always good if they are doing something like that, that they could have accommodation nearby. It would also be useful, if there are visiting hen parties or team-building.

"Hannan Meats also brings in tourists. There are also a lot of boutique producers in the local area."

Ms Hughes added: "Some of these old buildings may not be the most attractive, so it would be nice to see it turned into something that benefits the village from a tourism element.

"It would be great to see something like a B&B or a guest house."

A bed and breakfast provider is now operating from a former police station building in Glenarm, known as the Water's Edge.

The building ceased operating as a police station in 2012.

Meanwhile, the PSNI has stated that policing is "not about buildings".

Two-thirds of all police stations in Northern Ireland have closed within the past two decades - with just 47 currently in operation.

The former Ballynafeigh police station at Ormeau Road in Belfast looks set to be transformed into approximately 60 apartments complete with retail space, landscaped courtyards and underground parking.

Last September, Maghera's police station went on the market for £225,000.

Belfast Telegraph

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