LDA completes purchase of Clongriffin lands with potential to deliver over 2,300 homes

  • €44 million deal involves two adjoining sites previously controlled by Nama
  • Planning permission already in place for over 1,800 homes
  • Development will be the biggest State housing project in decades
Clongriffin Aerial View 2

Monday 18 December 2023:
The Land Development Agency (LDA) has completed the purchase of lands in Clongriffin in north Dublin with existing planning permission for over 1,800 homes and the potential to deliver a total of over 2,300 affordable and social units.

The adjoining lands, which now effectively form one site, were purchased by the LDA for €44 million from the National Asset Management Agency. The pending development will be the biggest single State housing project in decades with the delivery of a new community involving cost rental, affordable purchase and social housing.

The lands involved are known as Project Capital North and Barina and amount to a total of 13.2-hectares, 11.1 and 2.1-hectares respectively. There is existing planning permission for 1,823 units on Project Capital North as well as some commercial developments. The Barina site adjoins the Project Capital North land and has the potential to accommodate up to 500 homes. It was previously subject to successful housing planning applications, which have now lapsed.

The entire site is located next to Clongriffin railway station in Dublin 13 and both pieces of land are zoned for residential use in Dublin City Council’s local area plan. The purchase significantly increases the LDA’s planned delivery and the Agency now has sites for in excess of 8,000 homes in its short to medium term direct development pipeline, some of which are already under construction and the majority of which are now planning approved and moving to construction.

This direct development is in addition to the delivery of thousands of extra homes as part of the LDA and government’s Project Tosaigh initiative, whereby the LDA steps in to kick-start stalled or unviable private developments and then makes the homes available under affordable purchase or cost rental schemes. In August, the LDA announced it was also seeking expressions of interest from landowners as part of its plan to purchase privately-owned sites for the further delivery of affordable housing. Clongriffin is located approximately 9km to the northeast of Dublin City Centre adjacent to Dublin City Council’s boundary with Fingal County Council. It lies between Dublin Airport and the M1/M50 and is located about 2km inland from Baldoyle Bay.

The existing planning permission for the Project Capital North site involves four planning applications. The LDA is planning to initially prioritise the development of two apartment blocks to accelerate the delivery of over 400 homes, while also reassessing and potentially seeking new planning permission for the rest of the site to include new amenities, green space and community facilities. The LDA has already initiated the process of appointing a contractor to develop these initial apartment blocks on Project Capital North with construction likely to begin in September 2024. It is expected that the first homes will be delivered in 2026.

John Coleman, chief executive of the LDA said:
This is a significant strategic purchase by the LDA and a major development for the provision of State-owned affordable housing. These lands are superbly located and well-connected with the potential to ultimately deliver about 2,300 affordable and social homes. The purchase has involved an upfront financial cost to the LDA of around €19,000 per home, which is low in comparison to the overall delivery cost. We are fully confident that the site’s potential to deliver a high level of housing and to allow the creation of a new well-served and vibrant community means we can absorb this cost and still deliver on our remit to deliver affordable and social housing.”

“The LDA is already working on the direct delivery of over 6,500 homes on State-owned sites and this strategic purchase means we now have a delivery pipeline of over 8,800 homes with more to come. It also means the LDA is on course to become one of the largest homebuilders in the country, delivering not just homes, but vibrant and sustainable new communities. Our first direct delivery homes will be delivered next year in Shanganagh in Dublin in partnership with Dun Laoghaire County Council and this will be the beginning of a steady and sustainable supply as we continue to add to our portfolio. This is in addition to the delivery of at least 5,000 cost rental and affordable purchase homes through our Project Tosaigh initiative with further announcements due soon.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien said:

“I welcome this LDA deal, which will ultimately deliver a new community and over 2,000 new affordable and social homes in north Dublin. The LDA is the State’s affordable housing delivery body and the Government, through Housing for All, has ensured it has the necessary resources to fulfil its remit and to deliver at scale. The land at Clongriffin is superbly located and it is exciting that this will be the largest State housing project in decades. By buying this site, the LDA is realising the land’s potential and making sure it is used to deliver the right type of housing, community facilities and amenities. This is only one of a number of State-backed housing projects and yet another example of how this Government is addressing the country’s housing need.”

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The LDA is the State’s affordable housing delivery body. It is in the process of delivering more than 8,000 homes on State-owned land and over 5,000 through the Government’s Project Tosaigh initiative. The agency has existing planning permission for over 3,600 affordable homes on State-owned lands with many projects already under construction and others at the advanced planning stage.

In addition to the direct delivery of homes on state-owned or private land, the LDA is overseeing Project Tosaigh, an initiative whereby the agency steps in to purchase stalled or unviable housing projects and then makes the homes available to renters or to buyers at costs significantly below market rents or full market purchase prices. Under this scheme, the LDA has an initial delivery schedule of 2,500 homes and is on course to deliver 5,000 by 2026.

The LDA recently produced the Report on Relevant Public Land, which advised the government of the potential to deliver 67,000 homes on 83 underutilised State-owned sites. It also announced plans to purchase private sites with planning permission in the country’s five major cities.

The LDA’s direct delivery projects include the construction of 265 homes at St Kevin’s Hospital in Cork, a former HSE site, and the development of 597 homes in Shanganagh in Dublin in partnership with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. It also includes 817 homes at a site at Castlelands in Balbriggan in Dublin, 345 in Hacketstown in Skerries in Dublin, 219 at Devoy Barracks in Naas, Co. Kildare, 852 on the former Central Mental Hospital site in Dundrum, Dublin 14 and 543 at St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin’s south inner

city in partnership with Dublin City Council. A further 3,700 homes are currently in the design and development phase. 

Project Tosaigh is an LDA initiative, whereby the agency steps in to kick-start stalled or unviable housing projects and then makes the new homes available to renters on a cost rental basis or to purchasers at an affordable cost.

The LDA has already launched a number of Project Tosaigh schemes. They include the release of 142 cost rental homes in Archers Wood in Delgany in Wicklow and 95 in Parklands on Fortunestown Lane in Citywest in Dublin. The homes in Delgany were delivered in association with Cairn Homes while the homes in Citywest were delivered in association with Harcourt Developments.

A further 247 cost rental homes are under construction in Hansfield in Dublin 15 in association with the McGarrell Reilly Group. Other Project Tosaigh developments include the delivery of 81 homes at The Mills in Castletroy in Limerick in partnership with Cairn Homes, 69 in Hollystown in Dublin in partnership with Glenveagh, and 204 in Cookstown in Tallaght in partnership with Willow Street Capital.

The LDA has also launched a number of affordable purchase Project Tosaigh developments. This includes the phased launch of 92 homes in Clonmore in Mallow in Cork, 95 in Summerfields in Kilbarry in Waterford and 50 in Baker Hall in Navan. The homes in Clonmore were delivered in association with the O’Flynn Group. The homes in Kilbarry were delivered in partnership with the Whitebox Group and the Baker Hall homes were built by Glenveagh. These homes can be purchased by eligible candidates under local authority shared equity schemes. Further Project Tosaigh developments are due to be announced soon.