Friday 23 March 2018

Donohoe quizzes Cairn Homes bosses on housebuilding rates and delays


Tim Kenny, Cairn Homes chief financial officer, and Michael Stanley, group CEO. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Tim Kenny, Cairn Homes chief financial officer, and Michael Stanley, group CEO. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Listed housebuilder Cairn Homes was quizzed on the speed of its completions by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe at a meeting late last year.

In briefing notes prepared ahead of the meeting with Cairn chief executive Michael Stanley and chairman John Reynolds, 'potential issues to raise' included questions about 24 sites 'on which they are currently not building'.

When Cairn intended to build and what factors prevented the sites were being developed were the two top questions suggested by officials.

Other questions focused on reaction in the market and demand, as well as affordability. The viability of apartment building was also flagged.

A record of the meeting, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows Donohoe "asked about the level of Cairn home building in the context of the substantial volume of sites it has acquired". The record stated that Cairn outlined the various stages in its business model and "contended" it had made strong progress and was active on nine sites.

"Cairn outlined a number of constraints limiting their ability to achieve a faster mobilisation of their land bank," state the notes.

Among the issues were delays in getting local area plans approved and capacity issues with Irish Water.

Stanley and Reynolds said they believed there would be little or no apartments supply over the next few years "drawing attention to a mismatch between apartment supply and new office supply in Dublin".

They also discussed the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) which is designed to accelerate building in areas of high demand. "Cairn claimed that the scheme had not yet delivered one house," states the record. Cairn was to have a follow-up meeting on the issues.

Sunday Indo Business

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