Council rejects social housing lease deal for €135m Blackrock build-to-rent scheme

Figures show it would be €4m cheaper to purchase apartments rather than lease them

A Dublin local authority has rejected a proposed social housing lease deal by the developers of a €135 million build-to-rent apartment scheme, on former Blackrock College lands, due to the high rents involved.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council rejected the 25-year lease deal after figures supplied in the Lioncor strategic housing development planning application showed that it was about €4 million cheaper to purchase the apartments outright rather than lease them over the 25 years.

The figures provided showed that to lease the 25 apartments over the 25 years would work out at an indicative €17 million cost for the council compared with the indicative €13 million it would cost to purchase the apartments.

Lioncor is seeking fast-track planning permission for 244 apartments on the lands at Cross Avenue on a site adjacent to the private school.


Lioncor purchased the site for about €16 million last year from the order responsible for Blackrock College, the Holy Ghost or Spiritan congregation.

The scheme, reaching to nine storeys, by Lioncor subsidiary 1 Players Land Ltd is made up of three blocks.


In order to comply with its Part V social housing obligations, Lioncor proposed that 10 per cent – 25 of the units – be subject to a 25-year lease with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

However, a letter to Lioncor from the council’s housing department said that due to the high-market rents for the scheme, the proposed long-term lease was “not capable of complying with Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the County Development Plan and the housing strategy”.

The letter said that the indicative market rent for 10 two-bedroom units would be €2,600 each per month, €2,100 for the one-bedroom units and €1,700 for the studio units.

The indicative market rents show that over the course of the 25-year lease, the lease payout for the 25 units would be about €17 million.

This is almost €4 million more than the indicative price tag of €13 million that Lioncor has put on the cost of the 25 units.

In the Part V information submitted with the application, Lioncor has put an indicative price tag of €650,566 on the two-bedroom apartment.

Lioncor states that the indicative price tag for its one-bed apartments is €450,210 and €392,250 for the studio units.

In the letter to Lioncor, the council’s housing department said in the alternative to the proposed lease deal, “the council will consider the provision of 10 per cent of the land in order to comply with the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000”.

“This and other available compliance options will be considered should planning permission be obtained, ” the letter said.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times