Developer's dream home for €3.75m
Once the dream home of a Cork businessman, Fastnet House in Kinsale has spectacular views – and a swimming poolLOOKING DOWN on Kinsale Harbour, auctioneer Malcolm Tyrrell points to a cluster of houses on a main thoroughfare in the medium distance. One of them, he says, went at the height of the boom for €5 million. He tells me he walked through the property at the time and just couldn’t see how the price was justified.
Then again, not many of those mid-2000 prices look in any way justified now. Tyrrell is telling me this because the site we’re standing on is one of the most unique, intriguing or inflated pieces of real estate to come on the market in Kinsale in the past decade. I still can’t decide. Fastnet House – the contemporary home, the stream-lined design, the site and the spectacular view – could be yours for a mere € 3.75 million. At a time when large homes with very good views in Kinsale can be purchased for well under a million euro, it’s worth looking at why the auctioneers may feel that price tag may be justified. Firstly, Fastnet House is located in a part of Kinsale called Ardbrack where houses this size don’t tend to come up for sale that often. Or if they do, they rarely come with more than an acre and a half of lush vegetation and direct access to the popular Scilly Walk.
The home was to be the dream pad of Howard Holdings founder Greg Coughlan and reports at the time suggested the total cost of the build was somewhere between €5-7 million. Those handling the sale confirm that the current owner is Ann Coughlan, his wife, and the house is currently rented to an American executive.
Greg and Ann Coughlan bought the pre-existing bungalow property in 2001 for an estimated €750,000, and were twice refused planning permission for the new house, before architect Niall Scott from Scott Tallon Walker helped come up with an acceptable solution. This included lowering the height of the property several feet below the original, and committing to a grass roof and an eco-friendly build. Indeed, looking up from Kinsale harbour it’s difficult to pick out Fastnet House, remarkable given that it occupies just over 6,000sq ft. Half of its bulk has been sunk into the ground. The property has two levels, a ground floor and a lower ground, accessed by an entrance hallway and a large stairwell which floods the lower ground with natural light. The kitchen, main living areas and study are located on the ground floor. The kitchen is large, and like all rooms on this level, comes with stunning views of the inner and outer harbour as well as the Bandon River in the distance. A gas-fired Aga, along with Gaggenau appliances and a limestone centre island, make it a functional and spacious eating and living area.