Cairn Homes to sell 61 apartments at former RTÉ lands for social housing

Dublin City Council would pay €30m for the block at Project Montrose in Donnybrook

Cairn Homes has agreed in principle a €30.175 million deal to sell 61 apartments to Dublin City Council for social housing from its planned development on former RTÉ lands at Donnybrook in Dublin 4.

The builder has lodged “fast track” plans for its €338 million Project Montrose with An Bord Pleanála to secure planning permission for 614 residential units.

Cairn Homes bought the 8.64-acre site at RTÉ’s campus for €107.5 million three years ago.

Now, as part of its obligations under Part V of the Planning and Development Act, where it is required to allocate 10 per cent of any new private development to social housing, Cairn Homes has reached a deal with Dublin City Council concerning its plans.


In a letter dated May 20th to Cairn Homes from Dublin City Council presented to the appeals board, senior council official Natasha Satell stated that Cairn Homes has engaged in Part V discussions with the council "and an agreement in principle to comply with their Part V requirement has been reached".

Ms Satell said: “Dublin City Council’s preferred option is to acquire units on-site and is bound by the planning permission granted.”

Ms Satell added that “therefore, Dublin City Council can only agree in respect of the actual permitted development”.

The apartments put forward by Cairn are comprised of 37 one-bedroom units and and 24 two-bed units.

The documentation put a value of €521,377 on the two-bed apartments and €472,797 on the one-bed apartments.

One block

The Part V apartments are to be located in one eight-storey block in the scheme.

A spokeswoman for Cairn Homes confirmed on Thursday that last year the company sold 133 homes under Part V to local authorities at an average selling price of €224,000 – which translates to a total of €29.79 million.

Planning documentation with the application states that Project Montrose represents “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a landmark development in one of Dublin’s most desirable neighbourhoods”.

It goes on to say that the scheme “offers a unique vision for sustainable development in a parkland setting” and will provide for a series of taller “villa” style buildings fronting the Stillorgan Road with a perimeter of lower “pavillon” buildings along the rear boundary.

The proposed scheme is comprised of 611 apartments across nine buildings ranging in height from four to 10 storeys. It also includes three townhouses, one childcare facility and two cafes.

The scheme is made up of 59 per cent two-bed residential units, 31 per cent one-bed residential units and 10 per cent three-bed residential units.

Third parties can now make submissions on the plan and An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the planning application by September 15th.

Asked about when construction might be expected to start if planning comes through, the spokeswoman for Cairn Homes said that “given the application is still in process it would be too premature to discuss timelines”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times