An Bord Pleanála gives Cairn Homes go-ahead for RTÉ site plan

Builder to construct 611 apartments on broadcaster’s campus in Donnybrook

An Bord Pleanála has cleared the way for Cairn Homes to lodge plans to build 611 apartments in Donnybrook. It purchased the site from RTÉ for €107.5 million over two years ago.

Cairn’s plan also includes three townhouses, two cafes and a childcare facility.

The appeals board made the ruling after spending nine weeks examining Cairn’s application.

The housebuilder’s pre-planning consultation with the planning authority involved planners from Dublin City Council.


Cairn Homes can now make its formal planning application to the appeals board under the Government’s fast-track planning regime and a decision will be made within 16 weeks.

The appeals board’s positive assessment of the application should ensure its smooth passage.

The number of apartments envisaged is higher than the 500 Cairn initially indicated it would construct on the 3.49-hectare site (8.64-acre site) at RTÉ’s campus after its purchase in June 2017.

The site was sold at 43 per cent above the guide price of €75 million.

Before the 2017 deal, Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley said: "If an opportunity like the RTÉ site comes along, it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire a site of that quality."

Speaking in March, Mr Stanley said that Cairn Homes hopes to commence construction on the former RTÉ site in 2020.

The plans will be lodged under strategic housing development (SHD) rules which allow developers to bypass local authorities and have their applications decided by the appeals board.

The process can save a year or more in the time required to have large-scale planning applications decided upon.

Operating profits

Cairn Homes’s revenues for the first half of this year increased by 48 per cent to €192 million as operating profits increased by 51 per cent to €27.3 million.

Third parties are not allowed make submissions on pre-planning consultations, but when Cairn lodges its planning application all documentation in relation to the pre-planning will be available to view and third parties will then be able to lodge submissions.

Cairn is building on 15 sites in the greater Dublin area and is on target to deliver 1,100 units this year.

A spokeswoman for Cairn Homes declined to comment.