The history of the historic Hilden Mill in Lisburn has taken a new twist as the vast site approved for housing has been put up for sale on the open market.
The move follows confirmation from the Clanmil Housing Association that for the meantimne it was unable to progress to develop the 24 acre site where approval was granted in 2009 for a scheme involving up to 600 homes.
In 2012 the association signed an option agreement with the Irish National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) but it is now understood that that Clanmil made an unsuccessful bid before that option expired.
In a statement the social housing body said it had made it offer based on “an independently assessed market valuation”, adding that it was “extremely disappointed that, despite all our efforts, we have as yet been unable to find a viable way forward that would allow us to progress with the development of this site”.
Commercial agent Lisney is now leading the sale of the Mill which dates back to the early 1800s when it was developed by globally successful Barbour Treads.
Working with London-based firm Allsop, it is looking for offers in excess of £1.5 million and expects significant interest from across the UK in one of the most significant mixed-use development sites in the province.
Adding that one of the key issues had been the “substantial cost of decontaminating the site in preparation for its regeneration,” Clanmil said it remained “keen to explore options with potential partners to take this project forward”.
Lisney directorDavid McNellis said: “Steeped in tradition, the 24-acre site will provide developers with the opportunity to build on history and transform the old buildings, woodland and grassland into a range of commercial premises alongside private and social housing.”