Council to buy social housing at Central Mental Hospital at average cost of €370,000

Units will be built by the Land Development Agency at the prime site in Dundrum

The Land Development Agency (LDA) is proposing to sell 196 residential units for social housing for an estimated €72 million to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

The 196 units form part of the LDA’s €378.6 million 977-unit “affordable” residential-unit scheme for lands at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

The State agency lodged the fast-track Strategic Housing Development scheme recently with An Bord Pleanála.

The planning documents lodged include a letter from Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council which confirms the indicative cost of €72 million for the 196 units at an average cost of €367,662 based on an agreed methodology.


The council letter states that the indicative average cost for the three-bedroom unit is €564,918 and the indicative average cost for the three-bedroom houses would be €440,163.

The letter specifies that the cost for the two-bedroom units is €438,194 or €387,579 depending on size. The indicative cost for the studio units is €232,651 and €292,549 for one-bedroom units.

The proposed deal comprises 21 studio apartments; 84 one-bedroom units, 59 two-bedroom apartments, and 32 three-bedroom homes.

The council has told the LDA that it may seek a revision of the Part V social housing proposal following evaluation of costs and land values, a review of current housing demand, and a determination of funding availability.

The council states that it is working with an approved housing body to support the delivery of accommodation for persons with intellectual disabilities within the Dundrum site and noted the commitment of the LDA to collaborate with it to incorporate the design requirements for such housing accommodation.

Height of scheme

The overall scheme comprises nine blocks ranging from two to seven storeys in height.

Planning documents lodged with the scheme show that the LDA will submit a separate application with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for an additional 71 homes to the rear of the hospital and the re-use of the Central Mental Hospital as an enterprise centre.

Planning consultants for the scheme, Tom Phillips & Associates, has told An Bord Pleanála that the scheme "will make a significant contribution to the delivery of housing in Dundrum and the wider context on currently underutilised serviced lands. The proposed SHD provides a good housing mix, reflective of local needs".

Lizzie Donnelly from Tom Phillips & Associates has told the appeals board that "the proposed development provides increased residential density and height in line with the national guidelines while achieving an excellent overall standard of accommodation for future occupiers".

Ms Donnelly stated that 20 per cent of homes will be social houses through Part V with the remaining 80 per cent affordable.

A decision is due on the SHD application in July.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times