Friday 28 July 2017

€50m development in north Dublin gets the go-ahead

The Skerries seafront. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The Skerries seafront. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Simon Rowe

A plan to build a €50m development on a 25-acre site in north county Dublin that will include 24 houses, a luxury hotel and coastal park and walkway has been given the green light by planners.

Initial work on the Skerries development, which is being led by internet entrepreneur Michael Branagan, is due to begin later this year.

"We hope to be turning the sod on the project in mid-summer," said Branagan. "We're now upping the conversations with several of our potential development partners."

Irish leisure chain Aura is in talks with Branagan about operating the swimming pool and leisure franchise at the resort, which is branded Holmpatrick Cove.

Branagan has also begun talks with global hotel chains about taking over the franchise for the boutique 44-bed hotel.

Munich-based eco-home specialists Baufritz has agreed to build the 24 large family homes (approximately 4,000sq ft each) on the site using pre-fabricated structures incorporating eco-friendly design and materials. It is the first housing project in Ireland for the German firm - its work in the UK has been featured on the Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs.

The Holmpatrick Cove project has been in development by entrepreneur Branagan and his wife Alison Ryan for several years. It may still be appealed.

They describe the Holmpatrick Cove project as "a community-focused development that seeks to do justice to its wonderful setting, address local housing needs and provide much-needed local leisure facilities".

The houses will be made in Baufritz's factory near Munich and then shipped to the site in Ireland, where prefabrication means that shell construction is complete in a few days, significantly reducing the traditionally lengthy construction lead-in times.

"The emphasis on sustainability means that Baufritz houses offer a healthy home environment and low running costs alongside contemporary design," said Branagan.

The project is being financed by the husband and wife team, who declined to give a guide price on what the houses are expected to sell for.

Chartered accountant Branagan started two of Ireland's earliest web service providers, setting up Indigo in the mid-1990s and later co-founding Internet Ireland.

He set up a customer relations and HR consultancy called Deep-Insight in 2000 and was formerly the head of worldirish.com, which was subsumed into IrishCentral.com.

The website was backed by Riverdance founder John McColgan.

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