Thursday 21 November 2019

Plans to build 614 new homes on former RTE site

Cairn bought the land on the RTE campus in Donnybrook
Cairn bought the land on the RTE campus in Donnybrook

Cairn Homes has lodged planning documentation with An Bord Pleanala signalling its intention to build 611 apartments and three townhouses on the site it purchased from RTE for €107.5m over two years ago.

The number of units planned is 105 higher than the original 500 apartments and nine homes Cairn initially indicated it would construct on the site at RTE's Donnybrook campus after its purchase in June 2017.

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

The Cairn plan for the former RTE lands at Stillorgan Road and Ailesbury Close, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, is described as "611 apartments, three town houses, two cafes, one childcare facility, demolition of one existing sports and social club, change of use of Mount Errol from office use to private residents members club and gym and associated site works".

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

The planning documentation starts a nine-week pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanala.

The consultation will involve Dublin City Council planners and at the end of the consultation, An Bord Pleanala will provide an "opinion" on the development.

It is then open to Cairn Homes to take into account the views before lodging an application direct to An Bord Pleanala under Government fast-track planning rules.


Speaking in March, Mr Stanley said that Cairn Homes hopes to commence construction on the former RTE site in 2020.

Last November, the appeals board initiated pre-planning consultation for Cairn's then-plan for the RTE site but Cairn Homes withdrew the proposal on December 20.

The Strategic Housing Development rules allow developers to bypass local authorities and have their applications decided by the appeals board.

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

Last year, Cairn Homes' revenues rose 125pc to €337m as its pre-tax profits increased six fold from €6m to €37.6m.

Third parties cannot make submissions on pre-planning consultations but when Cairn lodges its application, all documentation 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, which will deliver more than 5,250 new homes.

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