Friday 30 September 2016

Ballymore homes at Piper's Hill built on a generous scale

A new phase of Piper's Hill in Naas by Sean Mulryan brings some generously-sized family homes to the market. Liadan Hynes drops by

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

A large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room spans the entire width at the rear of most of these houses
A large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room spans the entire width at the rear of most of these houses
A spacious third-floor bedroom at Piper’s Hill

You could be forgiven for thinking that the art of fitting extra furniture into a room has become something of a competitive sport among interior designers in new developments. Chaise longues sit beside dressing tables, chairs and desks in bedrooms. Sofas and armchairs gather around coffee tables in kitchen/living rooms. Occasional tables in living rooms are decked out with decorative pieces.

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It's all there to subtly underline just how much more spacious new homes are these days, now often pushing 120sqm rather than the previous more usual size of around 107sqm.

It's a technique used to full effect in Piper's Hill, Ballymore's newest development in Kildare, only a kilometre from Naas. Huge lamps sit proudly on side tables in one living space, and yet manage not to dwarf the room.

Launched last September, Piper's Hill is one of the latest residential projects from developer Sean Mulryan whose company, Ballymore, is expected to exit Nama soon. Things have been done on rather a grand scale here, as one might expect from one of the biggest builders of quality residential homes pre-bust.

Bar the three-bedroom semi-detached, all house styles have a third-floor suite, though they have retained the sense of a wide, roomy traditional family home that some three-storey units lose. Selling agent Savills has estimated that it would cost roughly €30,000 to retro-fit an attic conversion.

Another benefit of the three-storey style is the large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room which spans the entire width at the rear of most of these houses.

The developer has a home himself in Kildare, Ardenode Stud in Ballymore Eustace. He's said to examine every home built by his company and to maintain a hands-on involvement in the minutiae of a project. The proposed glass-bottomed sky pool - a 25-metre pool to be suspended between two 10-storey apartment blocks in the high-end London Embassy Gardens development - is one of his projects. Here the more modest meadow of wild flowers was his touch.

Mulryan famously said during his app- earance before the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry that there was too much money chasing trophy sites during the boom. With Piper's Hill, he would seem to be creating the antithesis of the boom-time over-hyped project.

Naas village, which has a lovely bustling market town feel, is nearby. Infrastructure and landscaping have both been accounted for. There are good local schools, with a Gaelscoil beside the development, shopping, restaurants, cinema, leisure facilities and Naas Farmers' Market. Piper's Hill is on the link bus route that goes to local towns and train station. Nearby Killashee House Hotel is offering residents three years of free family membership to its gym and leisure centre.

Launched last September, just over 40 units have sold so far, with another 30 launching next Saturday. In total, the development will see 117 units completed, most likely by early next year.

This next phase is situated around a crescent of green space. The units on a curve benefit from particularly large gardens. The homes have a mixture of A2 and A3 ratings, depending on their orientation; several have a south-west aspect.

There are five house styles, all timber-framed. The Haven, a three-bedroom semi-detached at 124sqm, costs from €330,000; the four-bedroom semi-detached Warren of 162sqm costs from €360,000; the Brook, a four-bedroom detached of 218.8sqm is from €465,000; The Burrows, a five-bedroom detached of 240.8sqm starts at €545,000; and The Rookery, a double-fronted five-bedroom detached house of 251.8sqm costs from €595,000.

As well as the large kitchen, which includes a dining and living area, each home has a separate sitting room with linking doors as an option. The living room of each home comes with a free-standing wood-burning stove.

Kitchen units in the three bedrooms are modern and plain white, with Shaker style in all others. The four and five-bedrooms also have a study and fitted wardrobes. Appliances are included, and all come with air-to-water pump systems and photovoltaic solar panels. Set on an elevation overlooking green fields, each home has a back garden with patio and two car spaces.

Gavan Ryan of Savills says Piper's Hill is appealing to a mixture of first-time buyers, especially those with children who moved home to their parents to save a decent deposit; trade-up buyers; and down-sizers with grandchildren who do not necessarily want to give up rooms but want to stay in the area in a hassle-free new home.

The development is also being pitched at commuters priced out of the Dublin market as it is roughly a 50-minute drive to the city centre.

Price: from €330,000 for 3-bed semi to €595,000 for 5-bed detached

Joint agents: Savills (01) 618 1300 and CME auctioneers (045) 89 7711

Viewings: next Saturday and Sunday, 2-4pm

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