Cairn Homes in €38m deal for ‘shovel ready’ housing sites

Builder buys land with planning for hundreds of homes in Dublin, Kildare and Meath

Cairn Homes has made a strategic return to the acquisitions trail with the purchase of three residential sites in Dublin, Kildare and Meath for €38 million from Tyrone-based developer McAleer & Rushe.

The off-market transaction, which is understood to have been completed recently, gives Cairn the capacity to commence construction on a total of 522 new homes immediately, and the potential to deliver up to 1,000 additional units subject to planning permission over the medium to longer term.

In the first instance, the publicly listed home builder has secured ownership of a 3.5 acre site with full planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for nearly 200 apartments in the south Dublin suburb of Shankill. Located to the rear of former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton’s home, the Abingdon strategic housing development has approval for the construction of 193 units across four blocks ranging in height from five to eight storeys. Upon completion the scheme will comprise a mix of 12 studios, 110 one-bedroom apartments, and 71 two-bedroom apartments. All units will be complemented by a balcony or terrace, while the development will include a pavilion, open spaces, tree houses, meeting rooms, flexible workspace, barbecue facilities, a resident’s gym, and residential amenity areas.

The second element of the portfolio is located at Kilmacredock in Leixlip, Co Kildare and comprises a 16-acre site with full planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for the development of 239 homes. The units in this case consist of 136 two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, 73 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 30 two- and three-bedroom duplexes.


The approved development will also include a creche, a residents’ gym, 393 car parking spaces (including e-charging points) and 208 secure bike parking spaces located within purpose-built bicycle stores.

The third and final site acquired by Cairn Homes is located in Navan, Co Meath. The lands in this case have a long-standing planning permission in place for the development of 90 houses, but are understood to offer potential in the longer term to accommodate between 800 and 1,000 additional residential units.

While news of Cairn Homes acquisition of the three schemes may come as a surprise to certain observers, given the 16,800-unit capacity of its existing landbank across 36 sites in the Greater Dublin Area and beyond, their “shovel-ready” status makes them an attractive proposition in a residential market where demand continues to outweigh supply. The Irish Times understands that Cairn is already on site at both the Abingdon and Leixlip developments.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times