“I recently met with the District manager Mrs Jill England and the South East area planner Mr Norman Haggan to discuss the serious lack of housing in the city and from those discussions it was agreed that the planners would support a new housing development of over 200 homes in the Hilden area to address the current waiting list pressure,” she said.
Mrs Palmer believes that Hilden Mill is the ideal strategic location for such a development and said it is currently a “blot on the landscape”.
She also called for a regeneration plan for the mill to include integrated community use.
Hilden Community Association spokesman Mr Thomas McCormick said: “We would be delighted to see something positive happen on the site.”
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson echoed the comments by Councillor Palmer. “The former Hilden Mill site is a vital regeneration project for the City of Lisburn and the current prospects for private development on the site are bleak,” he said.
“Yet, there is a great need for social housing in Lisburn and there is tremendous potential to designate part of the Hilden site for this purpose. That would create a mixed use dimension for the site and would result in a more integrated community.
“With many young families unable to afford the cost of buying a home, the prospect of affordable homes and social housing at Hilden would be warmly welcomed in Lisburn.”