Clonburris scheme with majority affordable houses approved

Councillors in Fingal give priority to housing applicants who have lived in the area for at least five years

Builders working in Bay Meadows, a housing estate under construction, in west Dublin, Ireland, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The mass purchase of affordable houses — on the market for about 400,000 euros ($490,000) — set off a public firestorm and highlights the growing tension over the squeeze in urban housing and the role of large investors. Photographer: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

Plans for the construction of 115 homes in the new Dublin suburb of Clonburris, just over half of which will be sold under the affordable housing scheme, have been approved by South Dublin county councillors.

The council project will see 59 affordable purchase homes and 56 social homes built on a site just south of the Grand Canal and less than 10 minutes’ walk from Clondalkin train station.

The low-rise estate will have 27 three- and four-bedroom houses, 42 apartments in two-storey blocks, 27 apartments in nine three-storey blocks, and a four-storey block of 19 apartments.

The scheme will be the first developed by the council on its landholding in the new Clonburris Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), which is designated for more than 8,400 homes.


Cairn Homes, the largest private landowner in Clonburris, last December lodged its first application with the council for 569 homes. The company plans to eventually build 5,000 homes at that location.

Fingal vote

Separately, locals will have first refusal on the purchase of large numbers of affordable homes in north Dublin under new measures agreed by Fingal county councillors on Monday.

Councillors have approved plans to give priority to housing applicants who can prove they have lived in Fingal for at least five years when allocating up to 30 per cent off new affordable homes.

An applicant does not have to be currently resident in Fingal, and may only have lived in the area as a child, as long as they can prove they spent five years in the area.

The Government’s affordable housing regulations, introduced in April, allow local authorities to use their discretion in allocating 30 per cent of the homes in affordable purchase schemes to locals. Fingal will be among the first local authorities to activate this provision in the legislation. South Dublin County Council plans to consider a priority scheme in September.

Fingal’s priority scheme has already been approved by the Department of Housing and is expected to apply to all its affordable housing developments from now on.

Dún Laoghaire deal

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council also met on Monday and approved a plan to lease Dún Laoghaire’s ferry terminal, which has lain idle for seven years, for use as a “co-worker, incubator space” to open later this year.

The deal, which will see the publicly owned building leased to Quartermaster Innovations Ltd for at least 13 years, was described on Monday night by councillors on either side of the debate as a “shot in the arm” for the town and “privatisation beyond belief”.

Councillors voted, with 35 in favour and five against, for the disposal of the terminal building to the company established by Hilary Haydon, an accountant and former president of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Chamber of Commerce, specifically for this project. It will pay rent to the council of €400,000 per year, starting in year two.

Questions were raised about whether Mr Haydon had a sufficient track record to develop the project, but Owen Laverty, head of enterprise with the council, said Mr Haydon had experience, had invested several million euro in the project and would have tenants in by the third quarter of this year.

Following the council meeting, former minister for education Cllr Mary Hanafin (Fianna Fáil) was elected cathaoirleach of the council.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times