Sunday 25 September 2016

Precious Kinsale home with magnificent views could be yours for €235k

New launch in Kinsale combines convenient proximity to the town centre with truly magnificent sea views. Liadan Hynes reports.

Published 22/05/2016 | 02:30

Maximum use of windows means that the properties have superb natural lighting and tremendous views
Maximum use of windows means that the properties have superb natural lighting and tremendous views
The Convent Garden kitchens are spacious and fitted out beautifully.

One would be hard-pressed to find a bad site in the environs of Kinsale, but it would be difficult to equal the attractions of Convent Garden, the new homes development which launched this weekend. It combines proximity to the town centre, one of Ireland's most aspirational locations, with stunning sea views.

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Set on an elevated plot of just over seven acres that was previously St Joseph's Convent of Mercy at Winter's Hill, it is just a few minutes walk from the bustling centre of Kinsale town and the beautiful harbour.

This development will eventually consist of 96 units, a mixture of three-bed townhouses, detached four-bed homes, both types set on the crest of the hill, and large two- and three-bed apartments in the building that was formerly the convent at the lower, town end of the site. Each type of unit has been built to a different aesthetic; as such, this development will avoid the dull uniformity sometimes suffered by large-scale sites.

The apartments will make up the final phase of the scheme. In keeping with the generous proportions of the former convent building, they will be laid out on a large scale, "a contemporary insertion into an old building," says the scheme's architect Haroldo Oliveira of JCA Architects.

The original sash windows are currently being renovated and will remain in the finished apartments.

The high-spec, four-bed, detached homes, which will make up the second part of the scheme, are of a contemporary design; square, with flat roofs, and featuring lots of glass, they will enjoy the lion's share of the sea views, with living quarters laid out on the first floor and bedrooms on the ground floor, opening to the garden.

This first phase brings to the market two styles of three-bed townhouses laid out over three storeys, with eight units available from €235,000. These houses have a BER rating of A3. There will be a second phase of the same units at a later date.

Laid out over two streets, this part of the site enjoys a cosy village feeling, in keeping with the surrounding winding Kinsale roads.

"The character of the building is a little bit more traditional externally," says Oliveira of this phase. Echoing local building styles, homes have a mixture of white render and traditional slate-clading fronts.

They benefit in terms of light from the use of large, often full-length, floor-to-ceiling windows, in unusual red PVC frames.

"Internally, we decided that the houses should be very contemporary and very clean. Because it's near the sea, we decided on a more Nordic feel, a lot of plain colours, a lot of light," explains Oliveira.

Type B (c115sqm) homes have a garage at the front of the house, as this style has a shared area, rather than individual front gardens, and a kitchen at the rear, which leads out onto the back garden. The living room is situated on the first floor, with a potbelly stove set directly on the floor.

There is also a double bedroom on this floor with full-length windows and a WC. The second floor includes master bedroom, with en suite, and a third double bedroom.

Across the road, Type C, c116sqm, which has space for two cars to park in the front garden, is also laid out over three floors.

This house has an open-plan ground floor, of kitchen/dining/living room, with glass doors opening out to a small garden area set in a corner of the room, rather than across the back of the house, which lends it a courtyard feel.

"We thought that the back yard would work more as an outdoor room, where you can use it, not something that was a leftover space," explains Oliveira. There is also a WC on this floor.

The first floor includes two double bedrooms, both with full-length glass doors opening onto very small balconies, and a main bathroom. The spacious master bedroom with en suite is located on the second floor.

The location means these homes will appeal to an unusually wide range of purchasers. Local first-time buyers and possibly some trading down from nearby larger houses will be attracted by the low-maintenance nature of these houses.

For retirees looking to move to the countryside, such a well-situated home presents a far more realistic option than the traditional cottage on the outskirts of a town.

The easy upkeep of these modern, energy-efficient homes with a BER of A2-A3 should also appeal to those from Cork, Dublin and abroad looking for holiday homes. Kinsale is also an easy commute to Cork city.

This is a rare chance to buy a low-maintenance, well-designed, energy-efficient home in one of Ireland's most beautiful areas.

Address: Winter's Hill, Kinsale

Agent: Savills Cork (021) 427 1371

Viewing: Today, 2-4pm

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