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Developers looking to build 611 apartments and three townhouses on former RTÉ campus

The site was purchased from RTE for €107.5m over two years ago.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

CAIRN HOMES HAS lodged planning documentation with An Bord Pleanála 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 114 – or 20.6 %- higher than the original 500 apartments and nine homes Cairn initially indicated it would construct on the 8.64 acre site at RTE’s Donnybrook campus after its purchase in June 2017.

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

In a notice published by An Bord Pleanála, the Cairn plans for the former RTE lands at Stillorgan Road and Ailesbury Close, Donnybrook, D4 is described as “611 apartments, three townhouses, two cafes, one childcare facility, demolition of one existing sports & social club, change of use of Mount Errol from existing office use to private residents member’s club & 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 lodged by the building firm starts a nine-week long pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanála (ABP).

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

It is then open to Cairn Homes to take into account of the views expressed by ABP before lodging an application directly to it under Government fast track planning rules.

Speaking in March, 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 619 apartments and three townhouses at the RTE site but Cairn Homes withdrew the proposal on December 20th last.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) rules allow developers to by-pass 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’s revenues increased by 125% 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 lodge 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, which will deliver more than 5,250 new homes.

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Gordon Deegan

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