850 homes planned for south Dublin in €375m development

Massive project seeks approval as Lane warns supply could lead to price falls

A Victoria Homes housing development in the Dublin suburb of Templeogue

Samantha McCaughren - Business Editor

House-builder Victoria Homes is to seek planning permission for 850 homes in south county Dublin, in what would be one of the country's largest residential building projects since the onset of the recession.

The planning application for the €375m scheme will go straight to An Bord Pleanala under the fast-track process. The homes are planned for Glenamuck Road, in Carrickmines.

It is the first major project for Victoria Homes, which is run by Derek Byrne and Danny Whelan and backed by international investors.

Byrne said that there would be a broad mix of homes in the development, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom homes.

"We'll be looking for 850 units and that's a mixture of apartments, duplexes and three- and four-bedroom houses," said Byrne. Victoria would seek to build 200 homes in the first phase and build more as infrastructure develops as outlined in a masterplan for the area.

Last week, Central Bank Governor Philip Lane said there was a "material risk" that house prices could go into reverse over the next two or three years as more supply comes online.

Byrne said that he did not think the market was as strong on the upper end as was widely believed. He said he expects the market to remain strong, but that prices will stabilise due to the Central Bank borrowing limits.

Victoria Homes has worked on 23 smaller projects since it was established in 2012. Other developments include Corrybeg Way in Dublin's Templeogue, where prices range from €850,000 to €1.2m.

"In the background, we have been working on land deals for the past 12 to 18 months," said Byrne.

As well as the Glenamuck plans, Victoria Homes has sites in Dublin 14, 16 and 18 and plans for another 1,000 or so units, he said.

A company linked to it had been authorised to issue up to €50m worth of bonds on Copenhagen's Nasdaq First North Exchange. Byrne told the Sunday Independent that it did not materialise.

According to the Companies Office, the majority of shares in Victoria Homes are now owned by a company based in Belize, Central America, called Victoria Holdings.

The company also has links with developer Paddy Byrne, a former business partner of Whelan.