Going down to the woods for first phase in scheme
Johnstown, Naas, Co Kildare
Asking price: €365,000-€435,000
Agent: Coonan New Homes (045) 832 020 and CME New Homes (045) 897 711
For some two decades, Furness House, a 30-room Georgian manor near Johnstown village in Co Kildare, was the home of Patrick Guinness, a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, the 18th-century brewer whose stout went on to embody Irish life. The vast estate, located about 2km north of Naas, once hosted actor John Hurt and even appeared as Castle Knox in the television series The Irish RM in the 1980s.
At the edge of Johnstown, now a commuter hub for Dublin, a low-density housing scheme called Furness Manor was built during the Celtic Tiger. Now Ardstone Homes is launching Furness Wood beside that scheme.
Ardstone aims to become one of the largest housebuilders in Ireland. As well as developing schemes in Dublin and Galway, the company is currently working on 180 homes at Castle Farm in Naas and plans to launch other Kildare developments, in Clane, Newbridge and Celbridge, next year. When it's finished, Furness Wood will comprise 52 three, four and five-bed homes. The first phase, which is being released this weekend, will consist of 13 three and four-bed semi-detached houses. Prices start at €365,000 for a three-bed semi from the C style, which spans 1,270 sq ft, and at €420,000 for a four-bed version from the D4 type, which measures 1,620 sq ft. The four-bed semi from the D design, which has 1,572 sq ft of living space, costs from €430,000, while the D1 four-bed semi, which has a gable entry and extends over 1,663 sq ft, is priced from €435,000.
The block-built houses are traditional in style, with a combination of a handsome brick and painted render to the facades. The UPVC windows, which come from Grady Joinery, are in a contemporary cream colour. To the rear, a large glazed door opens out on to a patio and seeded garden, both of which provide an extension to the interior living space. Out front, there is a driveway with enough parking space for two cars.
Like Ardstone's houses at Castle Farm, each property at Furness Wood has a custom-designed kitchen with stone-effect worktops from Fitzgerald Kitchens. If contracts are signed and exchanged on time, the price will include appliances such as an integrated fridge-freezer (there's a double version for the four-beds), a dishwasher, an oven, a hob and an extractor hood. The living room will be fitted with a wood-burning stove and a fireplace surround from Elm Fireplaces, as per the showhouse. The built-in wardrobes in bedrooms are also supplied by Fitzgeralds and there is an en-suite bathroom for the master bedroom. The bathrooms and ensuites are fitted with contemporary-style sanitaryware, tiling, and with heated towel rails or radiators.
The A2-rated family homes not only meet existing building regulations but also the efficiency targets of the proposed Part L building regulations, which are coming into effect in 2020, the selling agent says. Each house is pre-wired for electric car charging points and is equipped with an air-to-water heat pump for the central heating and hot water. A sophisticated ventilation system keeps humidity and moisture at bay.
For family buyers, the Johnstown Garden Centre, a SuperValu and childcare facilities are close by, and regular buses can take children to schools in Naas. Johnstown is just off the N7 at junction 8 and is 12km away from the M50 and 25km from Dublin city centre. A bus service connects Johnstown village with Dublin, and commuters can also avail of a train service from nearby Sallins/Naas to Heuston Station.
The first viewings are tomorrow, from 2.30pm to 4pm, and at the same time on Sunday.