A proposal for an innovative regeneration project for the derelict Bessbrook Mill site which would include 270 new homes has been submitted to Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) has been submitted by Keady based company Farlstone Construction Ltd for the project.

Plans for the mixed use development will include the construction of 270 residential units, comprising private, affordable and social housing units across the site. (206 apartments and 64 Town Houses).

Neighbourhood facilities will also form a part of the proposal including a Doctors Surgery, Creche, Shop Units, Salon and Residents Gym.

The listed Bessbrook Mill complex will be retained and refurbished. Associated works will include the provision of appropriate levels of car parking, new access roads, pedestrianised public areas, a children’s play area and high quality landscape proposals.

The mill has a long history, completely ingrained into the story of Bessbrook itself. It was bought by the Quaker Richardson Family in 1845 and formed part of their 'Model Village' plan and was used as a linen mill. It was taken over by the British Army during the troubles and has laid derilict since the army left in 2007.

A press release isued by the developers speaks of the proposal "Through the highly innovative and sensitive approach taken for the regeneration of the Mill site. Exciting design proposals have been developed that will create an environmentally sustainable community that fully integrates with the existing village character."

An aerial view of the proposed development at Bessbrook Mill.
An aerial view of the proposed development at Bessbrook Mill.

Local Architects, Milligan Reside Larkin Ltd lead the consultant team that have designed the landmark regeneration project, which the developers envisage will transform the current listed Bessbrook Mill Site into a truly desirable neighbourhood, providing additional community facilities.

The development by Farlstone represents a substantial financial investment and commitment to the restoration of the historic mill upon which the current village was founded.

The Press Release adds "The economic benefits and job creation will make a major contribution to Bessbrook Village and it is hoped have a positive effect, achieved as a result of the vision, determination and collaboration with the existing community."


The Developer’s plan to consult thoroughly with all local residents, politicians, Bessbrook Development Company, other local groups and current tenants the British Legion.

A spokesperson commented "We are fully committed to ensuring that all views are fully considered and encapsulated into the Development, as part of the planning process."

It is hoped that a community consultation day will take place in June 2020 possibly in Bessbrook Community Centre, to allow all interested local residents to view the Development plans and comment on proposals for this historic site.

Due to current Government guidance in relation to Covid 19, the date and manner of the community consultation process is currently being examined by Farlstone Construction Ltd and they hope to be able to announce full details in the near future.

Another artists view of the development at Bessbrook.

Commenting on the regeneration project Mr. Smith of Farlstone Construction Ltd said

“This extensive economic and socially regenerative project will dramatically transform this large derelict site close to the heart of Bessbrook Model Village.

"Our team are very excited by the potential of this project and we look forward to working with the local community, to ensure our development complements historic Bessbrook village and adds to the future of this picturesque village”.

The developers have provided information on the development to all local MLA’s, MP, Slieve Gullion Councillors, Newry City Councillors, Bessbrook Development Company etc, to ensure as much information is available to the general public in advance of the proposed Community Consultation event.

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