herald

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Builder gets go-ahead to submit plans for 614 homes on ex-RTE site

The former RTE site will now have 611 apartments and three townhouses along with two cafes and childcare facilities
The former RTE site will now have 611 apartments and three townhouses along with two cafes and childcare facilities

An Bord Pleanala has cleared the way for house-builder Cairn Homes to lodge plans for 614 homes on the site it bought from RTE for €107.5m more than two years ago.

The planning board concluded the proposal by Cairn Homes for 611 apartments and three townhouses along with two cafes and a childcare facility on the 8.64-acre site forms the reasonable basis for a planning application of that nature to be lodged.

Consultation

It has been examining the plans for nine weeks.

The house builder's pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanala involved Dublin City Council planners.

Cairn Homes can now lodge its formal planning application to the appeals board under the Government's fast-tracking regime and a decision will be made within 16 weeks of the plans being lodged.

The appeals board's positive assessment after the initial examination of the application should ensure a smooth passage for the plans.

The number of apartments planned is 111 - or 22 pc - higher than the original 500 apartments Cairn initially indicated it would build on RTE's former Donnybrook campus after its purchase in June 2017.

The site was sold at 43pc above the guide price of €75m.

Before the 2017 deal, Cairn Homes CEO Michael Stanley said: "If an opportunity like the RTE site comes along, it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire a site of that quality."

Speaking in March, Mr Stanley said Cairn Homes hoped to start building on the site next year.

The plan will be lodged under Strategic Housing Development rules which allow developers to by-pass local authorities and have their applications decided by the appeals board.

The recent rules can save a year or more in the time required to have large scale planning applications decided.

Cairn Homes's revenues for the first half of this year increased by 48pc to €192m as operating profits increased by 51pc to €27.3m.

Third parties are not allowed to make submissions on pre-planning consultations but when Cairn lodges its planning application, all documentation in relation to the pre-planning will be available to view and third parties will then be able to lodge submissions.

Cairn is currently building on 15 sites in the greater Dublin area and is on target to deliver 1,100 units this year.

A spokeswoman for Cairn Homes declined to comment.

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