First fast-tracked development plans almost 1,000 Dublin homes

Viscount Securities wants to build 571 apartments and 363 houses at Clay Farm

Clay Farm is just one of four sites in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area to secure government funding for major infrastructure work

Clay Farm is just one of four sites in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area to secure government funding for major infrastructure work

 

Almost 1,000 new homes are planned for south Dublin in the first housing scheme to use the fast-track development system which by-passes the local authority planning process.

Developer Michael Cotter’s Viscount Securities wants to build 571 apartments and 363 houses at Clay Farm, Ballyogan, close to Leopardstown and the growing town of Cherrywood.

Mr Cotter is the first house-builder to use the new Strategic Housing Development system which allows applications for schemes of more than 100 homes, or blocks of 200 student bed spaces, to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, by-passing the local authority decision phase.

Viscount could get the go-ahead to start construction early in 2018 if its application to An Bord Pleanála is successful.

The new system gives effect to the commitment made under Rebuilding Ireland in July 2015 to “fast-track” decision-making for large-scale housing and student accommodation schemes.

Nine weeks

Instead of developers applying to their local authority, whose decisions could then be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, applications for large developments would be made directly to the board.

The board will be required to hold pre-application consultations with developers and the relevant local authority for a maximum period of nine weeks, prior to the submission of an application.

It will then have up to 16 weeks to decide whether to grant permission, during which time the public, councillors and the local authority could make submissions.

The fast-track provision will be in place for three years, with a possible two-year extension if the housing crisis continues.

The pre-application consultations on the Clay Farm development are due to be completed by the board by September 11th, after which the formal application can by made by Viscount.

The company last year secured permission, through the traditional planning system, for 163 houses and 262 apartments at a neighbouring site on the Clay Farm lands. That application had been made to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in April 2015, and was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Construction has already started, and the first 50 houses are due to go on sale from September with prices for the three-beds starting at €470,000 and four-beds from €560,000.

Infrastructure work

Clay Farm is just one of four sites in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area to secure government funding for major infrastructure work. The council was earlier this year granted funding of just over €10 million for a road and bridge to the site.

Under the terms of the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund, 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”.

Another of Mr Cotter’s companies, Park Developments, had secured permission for more than 700 homes, shops and offices at Clay Farm in 2008, but the scheme was shelved when the recession hit and planning permission ran out in 2013. At the time Park Developments had proposed eventually building 2,000 homes on the site.