First application made for Cherrywood development

Plans for 322 homes in Dublin submitted under fast-track planning scheme

Plans for more than 300 houses and apartments have been submitted to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in what is the first application for homes in the new town of Cherrywood.

The application for 242 apartments and 80 houses by William Neville & Sons comes just days after the council changed the planning scheme for the Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) to allow smaller apartments be built in the town which is expected to accommodate 30,000 people over the next decade.

In 2010, the council sought Government sanction to create an SDZ on a 400-acre site straddling both sites of the M50 south of Loughlinstown. An SDZ is a fast-track planning scheme which allows the local authority to grant planning permission to landowners which cannot be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The Cherrywood planning scheme allowing for the development of more than 8,000 homes was finally approved in 2014, but despite there being 11 different landowners with sites in the zone, no planning applications for housing were made to the council.


In 2015, the then minister for the environment Alan Kelly introduced new apartment standards which lowered the minimum size of apartments which could be built, in an effort to kickstart construction and lower prices. The council then had to return to An Bord Pleanála to secure permission to amend the Cherrywood scheme to allow smaller apartments to be built.

A council document, drafted earlier this month and due to be published today, states that the amendments have now been made to the SDZ to reflect the Government’s apartment standards rules. The effect of reducing the apartment sizes will mean that the number of homes that can be built in the new town will increase from 8,336 to 8,786.

Following on from that change the first application has been made for homes in Cherrywood, the majority of which – 242 – will be apartments built in eight four-storey blocks. Under the fast-track planning scheme the 322 apartments and houses could secure the go-ahead from the council in two months.

Largest beneficiary

Cherrywood is expected to be one of the largest beneficiaries of the Government’s Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) with more than €15 million allocated for roads in the zone.

However, the council is yet to agree terms with developers on the price of affordable housing in the zone. Under the terms of LIHAF, a commitment has to come from housing providers whose land would benefit from the infrastructure, to produce housing “quickly, at scale and at affordable prices”.

Local Green Party Councillor Ossian Smyth said figures submitted to the council by Neville & Sons in relation to social housing prices at their new development, would indicate “affordable” housing was unlikely to be affordable.

“The figures show that the council would be paying more than €350,000 for an apartment for use for social housing; based on that it seems likely that a two-bedroom apartment on the market in the same development would cost €500,000.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times