Cairn Homes secures permission for 200 dwellings in Blackrock

Approval for 214 apartments and 7 houses at Chesterfield given under fast-track scheme

An artist’s impression of Cairn Homes’ proposals for Chesterfield House, which planners approved on Friday.

An artist’s impression of Cairn Homes’ proposals for Chesterfield House, which planners approved on Friday.


Builder Cairn Homes has secured permission to build more than 200 dwellings in an area where such properties are selling for €300,000-€600,000.

An Bord Pleanála on Friday gave Cairn the go-ahead for 214 apartments and seven houses at Chesterfield in the upmarket Dublin suburb of Blackrock.

The stock market-listed builder, led by chief executive Michael Stanley, sought permission for the development last October under the fast-track scheme for large residential projects.

Homes of the type that Cairn intends building in Blackrock are selling for €300,000-€600,000, according to newspaper property supplements and websites such as

Estate agents were asking €310,000 for one-bedroom apartments, €400,000-€500,000 for two-beds and at least €600,000 for family homes in Blackrock and nearby suburbs this week.

Cairn will build the homes on the grounds of Chesterfield House, which the company acquired when it and US investor Lone Star bought a group of boom-era property loans, dubbed Project Clear, from Ulster Bank in 2015 for €503 million.

The building company paid €378 million for its share of the loans. The deal gave it ownership of the properties against which the loans were secured. Cairn said at the time that the land would give it space for 14,000 new homes.

The company will restore Chesterfield House, which will hold three apartments. It wants to build 211 apartments, 29 one-beds, 105 two-beds and 77 three-beds in seven blocks on the grounds.

The development will also include one detached three-bedroom house and six semi-detached. Cairn will landscape the area and has pledged to retain the mature trees growing around the estate’s perimeter.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission ahead of its deadline for the decision, which was at the end of the month. Cairn described the ruling as “very positive” and added that it was warmly welcomed.

Local councils

The fast-track strategic housing development planning law allows builders to apply directly to An Bord Pleanála for projects with 100 or more homes and avoid seeking permission from local councils.

As part of the process, companies must consult with the planning board and tackle any issues that it raises before applying for permission.

Once the company seeks planning permission, An Bord Pleanála has up to 16 weeks to allow or block the proposal. Its decision is final, but can be reviewed by the High Court.

Dublin- and London-listed Cairn sold 800 homes in 2018 and could reach 1,000 or so this year. The company aims to build 1,500 houses and apartments a year from 2021.