Forty homes on offer in first phase of development in Ashbourne, Co Meath

When complete, Churchfields will consist of 300 A-rated three- and four-bed houses

The Churchfields development, built by Cairn Homes, in Ashbourne, Co Meath
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Address: Churchfields, Ashbourne, Co Meath
Price: €272,000
Agent: Hooke & MacDonald

The Cairn Homes-built Churchfields is a new development of A-rated houses in Ashbourne, Co Meath, which will consist of some 300 homes when complete. From today, 40 homes are being offered in this launch phase.

The quality of the finishes is first class, says Michael Stanley, chief executive at Cairn Homes, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, the first Irish building firm to do since McInerney Holdings, in 1997, which de-listed in 2010.

Set up in 2014 by the Scottish accountant Alan McIntosh and Stanley, of the well-known Stanley housebuilding family once associated with Shannon Homes, the company has hired McCrossan O’Rourke Manning to design the properties and Denise O’Connor of Optimise Design to do the show houses.

The Churchfields development, built by Cairn Homes, in Ashbourne, Co Meath
The Churchfields development, built by Cairn Homes, in Ashbourne, Co Meath

One of four brothers, Michael Stanley cut his teeth working with his father, Joseph, when, as a youth, cleaning out show houses was part of his remit. This, he believes, gave him an appreciation of good work. In fact, he’s so confident about the finish at Churchfields that he’s deconstructed it and put it on display for househunters to view.


“We’ve deconstructed the cake so you can see what’s in it,” he says. “What you’re buying is quality.”

And it is enlightening to see the bricks, mortar, insulation, and so on, all served up like a giant layer cake. But rather than being a gimmick, this method lets you see at a glance how the houses achieved their A-rating. It also shows that the vast majority of the materials used in the construction are Irish, save for the window surrounds, which are Portuguese limestone.

Bigger than standard builds, with ceiling heights of 2.6 metres and large windows pouring in light, the properties feel especially spacious. Prices, which were set well before the announcements in the budget, according to Stanley, are competitive. The houses range from three-bedroom terraced townhouses of about 106sq m/1,150sq ft, asking €272,000, to four-bedroom semis of 135sq m/1,460sq ft, asking €340,000. The three-bedroom semi is 117sq m/1,160sq ft in size, asking €295,000.

All houses have a smart white-gloss kitchen by Nolan's Kitchens (a design exclusive to Cairn Homes), Electrolux appliances and a fantastically spacious utility room. The family bathroom has a separate shower and bath, and the shower ensuite in the master bedroom has a large window. There are wardrobes by Cawleys in all the bedrooms.

All the homes have attics that can be converted for expanding families. Estimated costs for this start from about €8,000, and buyers will be supplied with drafted plans to give to an attic specialist. Furthermore, the attic in one of the three-bed show houses has already been converted, using a small Velux and light well to show how efficiently it can be done.

By the end of 2017, Cairn Homes plans to be building on 10 sites and to have 1,000 homes under construction in the region, Stanley says. “We’re able to build at a reasonable scale, so we have the economies to bring competitive price points.”

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors