Developer plans to build 700 homes in north Wicklow
A development company is acquiring 172 acres of land in north Wicklow, with the intention of building up to 700 homes there.
Ardale Property is purchasing the land near Tinakilly Hotel in Wicklow, about 46km from Dublin, the Sunday Independent understands.
Approximately 58 acres are zoned for residential development.
The area is close to the M11/N11, which links Dublin to Wexford and Rosslare Harbour, and has coastal frontage.
Ardale's directors are Alan Hegarty and his wife, Emma Maye, the daughter of developer Liam Maye, who passed away in 2008.
He was one of the developers behind the Dundrum Town Centre.
Ardale also recently bought a site in Dun Laoghaire for 70 units and another in Rathnew, at the former CBS school on Eblana Avenue, from a consortium which has owned the site since the early 1990s.
It intends to build a food store and 40 units there.
In other house-building news, Nama has set aside 16 developer connections, from the 'Project Emerald' and 'Project Ruby' loan portfolios it recently put up for sale, for housing purposes.
Properties owned by these 16 debtors will be used to deliver residential supply on a commercial basis, funded by the asset management agency, Nama said, in line with its aim of funding the construction of 20,000 new homes in Ireland by 2020.
However, despite the acute shortage of housing in Dublin and a number of other urban centres, house-building funded by Nama has provoked criticism from some circles.
A group of prominent property developers, including Cork's Michael O'Flynn, Paddy McKillen and New Generation Home's Greg Kavanagh, has lodged a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Nama's activities constitute state aid.
The developers argue that the state agency benefits from a significantly lower cost of borrowing compared to that experienced by private companies.
Based on an analysis conducted on their behalf by the economist Jim Power, the developers estimate Nama's current cost of borrowing to be approximately 2.5pc.
Nama-supported developers pay an interest rate of around 6pc, they estimate.
The Commission's competition arm has not launched any formal investigation but is assessing the complaint.
Sunday Indo Business