Cairn Homes to pay Irish Water part of cost for site’s water mains

Cairn ‘happy’ to pay for infrastructure if it allowed building of commercially viable homes

Cairn chief executive Michael Stanley said the company  was close to agreeing with Irish Water to pay part of the cost of laying about 2km of water mains to  Mariavilla in Maynooth, Co Kildare. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Cairn chief executive Michael Stanley said the company was close to agreeing with Irish Water to pay part of the cost of laying about 2km of water mains to Mariavilla in Maynooth, Co Kildare. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

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Housebuilder Cairn Homes will pay State-owned utility Irish Water for part of the cost of laying pipes to a site where it wants to build more than 400 residential units.

Cairn told Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in November that a water supply network with capacity for just 40 houses jeopardised its plans to build 400 homes at Mariavilla in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Michael Stanley, Cairn’s chief executive, told The Irish Times on Monday it was close to agreeing with Irish Water to pay part of the cost of laying about 2km of water mains to the site, which would allow building to proceed.

“We believe we will resolve that issue with Irish Water,” he said. Mr Stanley added that Cairn was “happy” to pay for infrastructure if it allowed the company to build homes and was commercially viable.

He pointed out that Cairn was already spending €4.5 million on roads, a bridge and a junction upgrade to allow Mariavilla to go ahead.

“We will solve our water problem for a lot less than the roads,” Mr Stanley said. He would not say how much Cairn was considering paying Irish Water as it was still the subject of talks.

No issues with capacity

Irish Water said there were no issues with capacity in the Maynooth area as a whole.

The water utility confirmed to Cairn last June that Mariavilla was viable and provided “ongoing support” to the company as it went through the planning process.

“To date, we have not received notification from An Bord Pleanála that Cairn Homes has submitted an application and we have not received a design submission from Cairn Homes for review,” a spokeswoman said.

“Irish Water is focused on facilitating development, particularly of new homes. To achieve this, Irish Water is upgrading a large number of water and wastewater treatment plants throughout the country as part of our current investment plan and Irish Water is dedicating €50 million of water services investment to support housing in key strategic areas.”

In a meeting with Mr Donohoe in November, Cairn outlined a “number of constraints limiting their ability to achieve a faster mobilisation of their land bank”, including the fact Irish Water had indicated that capacity only existed for 40 homes at Mariavilla.

Records released to The Irish Times show that Cairn told Mr Donohoe that delays in getting local area plans approved or altered were holding up building on 19 of its 30 sites.

Cairn highlighted problems with Clonburris, Brennanstown Road and Cherrywood in Dublin.

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