The long wait for the redevelopment of one of Lisburn’s most iconic landmarks could be almost over.
Clanmil Housing Association have vowed to make a final decision on the future of the former Hilden Mill by this summer.
Hilden Mill, former home of Barbour Threads, has been lying empty since the mill closed in 2006 and plans to redevelop the site and create a ‘village’ were stalled after the Irish government’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) took control of the 16 acres from the previous developer.
Since then, Clanmil, who provide social housing, signed an option with NAMA to redevelop the site and time is running out for them to make a final decision on the development.
Last week Clanmil welcomed Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland to Hilden Mill to see the site for himself.
“We are delighted that the Minister for Social Development has visited the site and are encouraged by the Department’s interest and potential support in taking this exciting scheme forward,” said a spokesperson for Clanmil.
The Housing Association’s proposals for the site include a mixture of houses and apartments, as well as retail, social, commercial and leisure facilities.
Lisburn City Council had recently expressed concern about the delay in developing the prestigious site and had encouraged both Clanmil and the Department of Social Development to progress the plans.
Despite concerns, Clanmil say they are working hard on finding “a viable way forward” and that a decision on the site will be made by the summer.
“Clanmil continues to work with our strategic partners to progress proposals for the regeneration of the historic Hilden Mill to deliver a mixed use, mixed tenure scheme that will reflect the area’s current and future housing and commercial needs,” continued the Association spokesperson.
“Due to the complexity of the site we have been working hard to identify a viable way forward and under the terms of the option agreement we are aiming for a decision on the purchase and regeneration of the site by Summer 2014.”