Appeals board blocks bulk buying of homes in Maynooth scheme

Houses can be sold only to individual buyers under fast-track planning permission terms

An Bord Pleanála has locked out institutional investors from snapping up housing units en masse at a 194-home development in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

The appeals board has attached a condition on Cairn Homes’ planning permission for the €71 million scheme stipulating that corporate entities cannot purchase new houses from the development and that houses can be sold only to individual purchasers.

The scheme at Dunboyne Road, Maynooth, comprises 119 houses, 31 apartments, 36 duplex apartments and eight one-bedroom maisonette apartments.

The planning condition relates to houses and duplex units in the scheme and, in its formal order, the board states that it has imposed the condition to ensure an adequate choice and supply of housing in the common good.


The restriction does not apply to the apartments in the development.

The condition attached to the strategic housing development scheme in the Kildare town follows a report earlier this year that an entire housing estate in another part of Maynooth had been purchased by an institutional investor. That sparked a push back against the bulk buying of new homes which resulted in the Government imposing 10 per cent stamp duty on the bulk buying of homes by institutional investors.

In July, it emerged that the houses at the Mullen Park development in Maynooth would not after all be sold to an investment fund but would be sold instead to individual buyers.


This is not the first time An Bord Pleanála has imposed a condition expressly excluding bulk buying of homes in a development by investment funds. Similar conditions were applied last month to a proposed 329-home development in Ballycullen in Dublin and to a planned 102-unit in Ballybrit, Galway.

Another Galway scheme – comprising 67 houses and 35 apartments at Tuam Road being built by Alber Development – was also granted fast-track approval by the board on similar terms.

In relation to the Cairn Homes plan, the firm has put an indicative price tag of €6.3 million on 19 units it is planning to sell to Kildare County Council for social housing.

An Bord Pleanála gave the scheme the go-ahead after the council recommended that planning permission be granted. The appeals board inspector, Rónán O’Connor, also recommended that planning permission be granted after concluding that the height, mass and scale of the development were acceptable.

He also concluded that the provision of a higher-density development at this location was desirable.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times