Sunday 30 April 2017

Home farm in Blackrock

Double-sized abodes were built on the last of Dublin dairy farms

The red-brick double frontage of No 9 Clonfadda Wood.
The red-brick double frontage of No 9 Clonfadda Wood.
The back garden with patio.
The Italian tiled hall.
The open-plan kitchen with centre island
The converted attic bedroom
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

Farming continued in amongst Dublin's eminent south suburbs right up until the mid to late 1990s when the fledgling property boom began to take off and hoover up the last surviving county farms along with religious order-owned grounds.

Until then, dairy farms in particular were scattered here and there around uppercrust estates populated with doctors and lawyers.

But one by one the big Dublin dairies which processed the milk had begun to close down until, in 1998, the last Dublin dairy - Premier (formerly Hughes Bros) at Rathfarnham, which had employed more than 300 - finally closed its doors.

Before Premier closed, there had been dairies all over the capital with names like Merville, Lucan and Suttons.

Farmers in the south county area had already begun selling off parcels of land here and there and the closure of Premier was the final straw. The property market benefited from the end of suburban farming in the south suburbs.

In Blackrock, a portion of dairy farm at Clonfadda, off Mount Merrion Avenue, was acquired by Gem Construction for around €3.5m and the firm subsequently put in for planning permission for a mix of big houses and apartments.

Such was the demand for the houses (there were just under 30), that long before the property boom got into full pelt, the developers were able to take securing deposits equivalent to €32,000 for every house.

Not only that, the deposits were taken even before planning permission was secured at the end of 1995. The apartments, in contrast, would take some time to sell.

Number 9 Clonfadda Wood was among the houses completed the following year in 1996, back when you could still acquire a starter house in nicer suburbs for less than €50,000.

And unlike many developers who veered madly into mock Tudor around this time, Gem kept it suave and simple - neat red-bricks and a functional elegant design with a nod to the Edwardian Stringer and Strain red-bricks to be found in the area.

Aimed at trader uppers from the area, when completed, the houses at Clonfadda stood at almost twice the size of an average semi-detached home, spanning 1,800 sq ft with additional potential in the attic.

One of the properties which has had its attic opened up and floored is No 9 Clonfadda Wood - the renovation has added an additional 430 sq ft to the basic floor plan with two attic rooms, offering obvious potential for a home office, a home gym, cinema room, additional bedrooms or a den area for teenagers.

Enter into the main hall with its Italian marble floor and a sweeping staircase, which rises four steps before cutting off at an angle upwards to the next floor. To the right is the double-sized drawing room which is 24ft long and 13ft wide and comes with an open fireplace with granite surround, and French doors to the garden.

To the end and left is the door into the open-plan kitchen and dining room - even longer at 28ft x 13ft. This space has a tiled floor and is lit overhead by Velux windows. The appliances include a five ring Rangemaster, there's a granite-topped island unit and double doors to decking.

There's a tv room with a wooden floor and open fireplace with stone surround, and also on this floor you have a utility room and a downstairs WC.

Upstairs there are currently four bedrooms with a full ensuite off the master chamber and this includes a bidet and a double-sized shower. Three of the four bedrooms are double sized and these come with fitted wardrobes. The main bathroom has a shower and bath, and there are stairs up to the two attic rooms - both of which are lit overhead by Veluxes and come with under-eaves storage.

Aside from the attic conversion, recent work here includes the installation of a new gas boiler two years ago.

The garden benefits from a large corner site and could provide further scope to extend, subject to planning permission. The front garden has parking for four cars.

Clonfadda Wood is a gated and managed scheme and warrants an annual fee of €880 to be paid to the Clonfadda Management Company for its upkeep. The gates aspect makes it secure and safe for young children.

The estate benefits from being within reach of the seaside, the Dart and Blackrock Village, which also has a popular market.

9 Clonfadda Wood

Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.275m

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

(01) 2880088

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