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Controversial apartment blocks get the go-ahead: 5 things to know in property this week

Plus, could we have found a better solution to homelessness?
Oct 19th 2017, 5:24 PM 1,903 0

NO MATTER WHICH STEP you’re on on the property ladder, it’s definitely good to keep in the know of important developments in the ever-changing world of property.

Each Friday, we gather essential, bite-sized pieces of property news you may have missed during the week, from tracker mortgage scandals to new plans for Dublin’s Savoy Cinema.

Here’s what everyone’s been talking about over the last week, from new apartment blocks in Castleknock to a new solution to homelessness.

1. Plans for controversial apartment blocks get the go-ahead

pastedimage-60666 Source: Google Maps

Plans for four four-storey apartment blocks in Castleknock that were objected to by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and former Tánaiste Joan Burton have been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.

The proposed development at Brady’s Public House on the Old Navan Road in Dublin would see the pub demolished and replaced with 41 residential housing units. Fingal County Council approved the plans in January of this year but a number of appeals were launched by locals and politicians, among them Varadkar and Burton.

2. The man who pioneered a solution to homelessness suggests an answer for Ireland: Give them homes

download-788-2-3 Source: Leon Farrell/

Dr Sam Tsemberis is in Ireland this week consulting with homelessness charity the Peter McVerry Trust as they plan to extend his own housing first programme to address Ireland’s worsening homelessness crisis.

The current “staircase” model involves a homeless person going through a number of steps (maybe getting clean from drugs, completing courses, etc.) before they were allowed a house. Housing first flipped this model on its head with a secure, safe, permanent home with support being the primary goal. A dedicated housing first team only began to work in late-2014 following a successful pilot programme.

3. Nama to pay back all of its taxpayer-backed debt three years ahead of schedule

nama-131017 Source:

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has announced that it is paying off all of its taxpayer guaranteed, senior debt three years ahead of schedule. The agency will repay the final €500 million in the coming weeks meaning it will have paid off over €30 billion of government-backed debt since it was issued in 2010 and 2011.

The agency’s chairman Frank Daly said it reflects “enormous progress” but added that Nama’s work isn’t finished as it still needs to maximise the return on its remaining portfolio of close to €4 billion.

4. 23 people lost their homes because of the tracker mortgage scandal as Taoiseach labels banks’ behaviour ‘scandalous’

shutterstock_159107969 Source: Shutterstock/Twin Design

The Central Bank has revealed 23 people lost their homes as a direct result of the tracker mortgage scandal. The scandal, which first emerged in 2015, saw customers either denied a tracker or charged the wrong rate on their mortgages.

Varadkar said the government believes the behaviour of the banks is “scandalous” and accused the banks of “dragging their feet” on the issue, which has resulted in a human cost that is impacting on people’s mental health. “The government has lost patience,” he told the Dáil.

5. The Savoy’s owners want to split the iconic Screen One into ‘three to five’ auditoriums

90303674_90303674 Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The Savoy Cinema is hoping to subdivide its large screen one auditorium into “three to five” cinemas but insists the size of its flagship screen would remain the same. The cinema is owned by the IMC Cinema group and rumours have long been swirling about the future of Savoy One, which has hosted many film premieres.

In response to further reports about the future of Savoy One, IMC Cinema director Paul Ward confirmed that the group is looking at changing the iconic auditorium. He explained to that nothing is final at present as “planning issues” have halted any work from beginning but that changes are being considered.

And finally, this week’s property buzzword…

We’re breaking down the complicated world of property jargon, one buzzword at a time. This week, it’s rus in urbe, an illusion of countryside created by a building or garden within a city. Want to see it for yourself? You’ll find an example of it in one of our featured properties this week.

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Hannah Popham


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