Tuesday 21 November 2017

New home view: A very modern manor

  • Diswellstown Manor, Castleknock, Dublin 15
  • Asking price: €425,000–€630,000
  • Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 631 8402
No 74 Diswellstown - a former outhouse
No 74 Diswellstown - a former outhouse
Churchfield, Ashbourne
Cois na Mara
Harvest Walk
Oak Hill

Three freshly restored 19th-century outbuildings and a stable on the extensive grounds of Diswellstown House, a 17th-century pile in Castle- knock, are being billed as new homes with a difference: they form part of the new Diswellstown Manor development of three-, four- and five-bed homes but are armed with a sense of history.

No. 74, a former outhouse, No. 76, a one-time stable, and The Glass House form part of an unusual phase of properties being released to the market at Diswellstown Manor. All three will have a broad appeal in the middle section of the market, from downsizers seeking a more manageable property within the locality to professionals who want to keep a pied-à-terre in one of the city's oldest suburbs, close to the pastoral environs of Phoenix Park, and a mere five miles from the centre of Dublin.

Diswellstown Manor, on the Porterstown Road opposite Castleknock Golf Club, is arranged around Diswellstown House, a two-storey mansion and protected structure once owned by Scottish family, the Kennans. The scheme, which retained a 5ac stretch of parkland from the old estate, was launched in October 2015 and built by Mullingar-based Andrews Construction for receiver Deloitte on behalf of Nama. This 13ac site in the middle of Castleknock had once owned by RQB, a company controlled by developer Paddy Kelly and financier Niall McFadden that had planning permission for 47 houses and 96 apartments before the crash.

In addition to the three refurbished outbuildings, this new phase at Diswellstown Manor also contains the last two new five-bed houses remaining at the scheme. These are 2,034 sq ft homes priced from €630,000. The converted Diswellstown House itself is scheduled to go on the market separately next month, though no price has been set yet. The original house had six bedrooms and six bathrooms, as well as a drawing room, a dining room, and a music room.

No. 74 and 76 sit west of the original house, tucked away beside the development's pedestrian access to the neighbouring St Patrick's National School. These two refurbished properties overlook a cobbled courtyard and date back to the 1800s.

No. 74 is a two-bed single-storey mews house priced from €425,000. What it lacks in floor space (it's just 990 sq ft), it makes up for in character. On entering the home, there is a living room with a vaulted ceiling and a feature fireplace off to the right-hand side. This room leads to the kitchen/dining room, which, in turn, has double doors that open onto a rear garden. To the left of the entrance hall is one of two double bedrooms. The dual-aspect master ensuite is situated at the rear.

No. 76 is a three-bed, two-storey former coach house priced at €475,000, with 1,582 sq ft of accommodation. On the ground floor is a large living room with a vaulted ceiling, a kitchen and dining area with a full range of units and built-in appliances, as well as a bathroom, a storage area, and two double bedrooms. Double doors open out from the kitchen/diner to a back garden. A spiral staircase runs from the hallway to the first floor, where there is a continuation of the living room and an ensuite bedroom.

No. 85 is a three-bed detached bungalow called The Glass House, priced at €500,000. This single-storey home is a standalone house on the southwest corner of the development. It has 1,087 sq ft of space, including a contemporary extension to an old property with a slanted roof. The name of the house was inspired by the multitude of near-full-length windows and sliding doors throughout the modern section, including the dual-aspect open-plan kitchen/dining/living room that opens onto the rear garden and comes with a kitchen island. Like No. 74 and 76, the Scandinavian double-glazed windows and doors are supplied by NorDan.

The main entrance to the quirky L-shaped home is located between two bedrooms that occupy the front of the property. All three double bedrooms are fitted with built-in wardrobes and one of the bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom. The house also comes with a main bathroom and a storage area.

Unlike the new builds at Diswellstown Manor, which have an A2 or A3 building energy rating, all three of these converted homes have a B1. Prospective buyers can access the nearby M50 from the N3 exit, while Castleknock village, just 2km away, has a train station for commuters who want to avoid busy traffic into the city centre.

Seaside site in Skerries

Hamilton Hill, Barnageeragh Cove, Skerries, Co Dublin

Asking price: €335,000–€430,000

Agent: Savills (New Homes) (01) 6181300 or Grimes REA (01) 8490129


The recent warm spell makes for ideal weather for shopping for a home by the sea, with agents rubbing their hands with glee when the sunshine makes an appearance to showcase a coastal development.

Throw starting prices of €335,000 and tax rebates for first-time buyers into the mix, and demand for a development like Hamilton Hill - which commands views of the Skerries seaside from an elevated site that slopes down to the waterfront - can really take off.

The first 20 homes in the north Dublin scheme sold within three weeks of their February launch. A second phase of 26 homes at Hamilton Hill is being released this weekend.

There will be 64 homes in all at Hamilton Hill when it's finished. It is being developed by Winsac, a 30-year-old company run by Bernie Carroll and Malachy Clarke that has a track record in the Skerries residential market, having built the nearby Kelly's Bay scheme. Winsac launched Barnageeragh Cove, Hamilton Hill's sister development across the road, at the start of 2016.

Hamilton Hill, which has a different look, identity and price point to Barnageeragh Cove, is called after James Hans Hamilton, a wealthy but benevolent landlord and an MP in the House of Commons for Co Dublin in the mid-19th century. A monument in his honour sits in the centre of Skerries.

The town is growing in popularity among families priced out of Dublin suburbs, who are attracted by its proximity to two beaches, a harbour, motorway networks and the airport.

It also doesn't hurt that Skerries won the Tidy Towns in September for the first time in the competition's 58-year history. At Hamilton Hill, first-time buyers renting in the area and purchasers keen to move from Lusk and Rush have accounted for much of the demand.

Currently for sale at Hamilton Hill are 12 three-bed semi-detached homes with studies that are priced from €335,000, and 14 four-bed semi-detached homes with entertainment rooms at €430,000. The houses won't be ready to move into until November at the earliest.

The exteriors of the contemporary- style homes are finished in white render, with a grey front door, granite to the windowsills, and Tegral slates to the roofs. The properties feature floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the views of the surrounding area.

To the front of each house is a cobble- lock driveway with space for two cars and a pathway to the front door, while a levelled and seeded garden can be found at the back. The development is set amidst a blend of hard and soft landscaping, and there is a cycle track and winding pathways on site.

Measuring 1,130 sq ft, the three-beds are two-storey homes with a study space on the first-floor landing. The four-beds have 1,650 sq ft of space laid out over three levels and feature bay windows off the ground floor and first level.

The latter house type has an entertainment room to the front of the first floor and a master ensuite with walk-in wardrobes on the second floor. Each kitchen comes with a choice of worktop and is fitted with an integrated fridge-freezer, an oven hob, and a dishwasher. Shower enclosures and heated towel rails come as standard in the bathrooms, ensuites and downstairs lavatories.

The A-rated homes are within walking distance to the beaches and the parklands at Ardgillan Castle. There are five national schools and three second-level schools in the locality. The development is also a short walk to Skerries train station, which provides 20 rail services a day to the centre of Dublin. Junction 4 of the M1 is a 15-minute drive away, giving easy access to Dublin Airport, the M50, the Port Tunnel and the city.

Viewings at Hamilton Hill will be held tomorrow and Sunday between 11am and 1pm.

Beachside new builds in Bettystown

Cois na Mara, Bettystown, Co Meath

Cois na Mara

AN affordable home near the beach within commuting distance of Dublin is the raison d'être of Cois na Mara, a development of three- and four-bed homes five minutes' walk from Bettystown beach.

The Golf Links Road scheme was first launched almost a year ago, with 48 of the 53 houses from the initial tranche having sold since then and a second phase earmarked for September.

The development, which will eventually comprise 88 homes, is across the road from Bettystown Golf Club and Tennis Club by Carroll Estates Dublin, the company behind other Bettystown schemes such as Castlemartin and Wellesley Manor.

For now, there are five homes still available from the first phase of the east Meath scheme. Three are three-bed semi-Ds selling for €255,000, one is a four-bed semi priced from €275,000, and one is a four-bed detached home priced from €325,000.

The homes have an open-plan layout on the ground floor to help maximise space and daylight, and the roof trusses have been designed to facilitate a future conversion. All the units have a small office space with power points on the landing, beside full-length windows.

The houses have an A3 building energy rating, courtesy of an A-rated gas condensing boiler.

Commuters from Cois na Mara can use the train station and park-and-ride facility 3km away at Laytown, with the journey to Dublin's Connolly Station 45 minutes. Access to the M1 is about a 10-minute drive. Drogheda is about 6km away.

The showhouse is open from 2-4pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Enquiries to: Noel Kelly Auctioneers (01) 846 2752

Gorey development a hit with retirees

OakHill, Gorey, Co Wexford

Oak Hill

New build schemes in regional towns tend to be traditional style, but Robeco Construction has opted for a slick contemporary look at OakHill, a development of 56 three- and four-bed homes in Gorey.

A protruding monopitch cantilever roof profile over a front balcony finished with stainless steel and glass railings adds an ultra-modern touch to the façades of the properties. The rest of the front elevations are in a mix of white cement render with a nap finish and part-coloured render, with black Tegral Supercem slates on the roof.

Retirees to the Sunny Southeast and commuters to Dublin have accounted for the bulk of buyers at OakHill since it launched in January. The agent is releasing the fourth and final phase of the development this weekend.

The tranche consists of 12 three- and four-bed houses. The three-bed semi-detached styles span 1,270 sq ft and are priced from €250,000, while the four-bed version measures 1,550 sq ft and costs from €280,000.There are just two four-bed detached types in the fourth phase: these are 1,550 sq ft and cost from €340,000. There are also two three-beds and one four-bed semi still for sale from the third phase. The latter four-bed will be sold at €270,000.

The OakHill homes are being built on the grounds of a derelict period house that is earmarked for conversion. Each house has French windows leading from a Shaker- style kitchen to a levelled and seeded rear garden.

The custom-made wardrobes in the bedrooms are also Shaker style. If kitchen units and tiling are not to the would-be purchasers' tastes, they can avail of allowances.

The A3-rated homes have an air-to-water heating system, with underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators on first, and the windows are triple-glazed.

OakHill is a short walk to the centre of Gorey, the railway station and shopping centre. The town itself is a 45-minute drive to the M50.

Viewings will be held from 2pm to 3.30pm tomorrow.

Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella (053) 943 0088

Spacious living in mountain foothills

Brambledown, Carrickmines, Dublin 18


VISITORS who call to one of the 11 tall houses that make up Brambledown, a new cul-de-sac off the Glenamuck Road, will be able to take in the private rear garden right from the doorstep: each of the homes' cut-string staircases has been tucked out of sight into the middle of the house, allowing the back garden and Scandinavian patio doors to be visible throughout the hallway.

At the foot of the Dublin Mountains, Brambledown is a mix of contemporary detached and self-detached homes surrounded by land zoned for agricultural use, ensuring privacy for buyers.

Four of the 11 properties have been booked, leaving just seven semi-Ds, with starting prices of €745,000. The detached styles proved so popular the selling agent has opened a cancellation list for them. Builders Whelan and O'Keeffe expect all the timber-framed houses to be ready to move into by July.The homes are in a variety of three-storey styles, from 2,153 sq ft. High ceilings at ground and first-floor levels add to the sense of spaciousness.

In addition to the four bedrooms is a top-floor space, across from the second-floor ensuite bedroom, floored, plastered and fitted with two large Velux windows. It can't be sold as another bedroom under building regulations but it could be a home office.

Brambledown is near the M50, with the city centre half an hour away via the N11. Dublin Bus routes 63 and 44 service the area; Ballyogan and Carrickmines Luas stops are within walking distance.

Viewings from 1-3pm Saturdays; site office is open Wednesdays 11am-1pm.

Enquiries to: Bergins Property Consultants (01) 6603587

New phase of five-beds launches in Ashbourne

Churchfields, Ashbourne, Co Meath

Churchfield, Ashbourne

A NEW five-bed detached house style will be among the latest tranche of homes at Churchfields, a development beside Ashbourne town centre pitched at local and Dublin-based buyers seeking more bang for their buck within commuting distance of the capital.

The scheme, just 20km north of the centre of Dublin, is being developed by the stock exchange-listed Cairn Homes and will have 300 units by the time it's complete. The last section of the first phase, consisting of 24 houses, is coming on stream this weekend, with completions scheduled to start this summer.

There are just five units from the five-bed plan A range available in the latest batch at Churchfields: 2,238 sq ft over three floors, priced from €475,000. Among the remaining 19 properties are a two-bed detached bungalow (1,045 sq ft, from €290,000), a three-bed semi-D (1,150 sq ft, €310,000), two four-bed, two-storey 1,463 sq ft semi-Ds, one selling for €350,000 and the other €355,000. In addition, there is a four-bed semi-D with 1,880 sq ft over three floors that costs from €380,000.

The showhouses will be open tomorrow and Sunday, between 2.30pm and 4pm.

Enquiries to: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 6318402 or REA T&J Gavigan (046) 9023232

Final houses in Ashfield, Swords, released

Ashfield Grove at Ridgewood, Swords, Co Dublin


IN Swords, demand has been pent up in advance of MKN's latest release of new builds, at Ashfield in the Ridgewood development.

Over the last six months, selling agent James Morton has been fielding inquiries for the final release of the last phase, with some families selling their existing homes in anticipation of the new tranche. These 34 properties are being launched this weekend, wrapping up nearly two decades of development at the scheme.

The latest section at Ridgewood, Ashfield Grove, has the largest houses of their type in the development. All the homes are set around a central green and buyers can avail of seven playing pitches, two children's playgrounds, and the many retail units nearby. "These are large A-rated houses but are in a mature development, unlike other new builds," Morton says. Thirty of the latest 34 homes are three-bed semi-Ds. There are also three five-bed houses laid out over three floors, as well as one four-beddetached house. The three-beds are priced from €336,500 to €372,000 while the four- and five-beds start at €450,000.The three showhouses at Ashfield, all three-bed semis, are on view tomorrow and Sunday, between 2.30pm and 4.30pm. See ashfieldswords.com.

Enquiries to: Morton & Flanagan (01) 840 40111

Unconventional Kinsale convent

Harvest Walk at Convent Garden, Kinsale, Co Cork

Harvest Walk

HARVEST Walk is the latest phase at Convent Garden, a development being built on the grounds of a former Mercy convent on Winter's Hill in Kinsale that enjoys sweeping views over the upmarket seafaring town and its harbour.

Even though prices start at €585,000, three of the five four-bed, three-storey detached homes launched at Harvest Walk at the weekend sold on the opening day. Buyers can avail of a PC sum of €15,000 for the kitchen units and appliances, utility and wardrobes, while the PC allowance for tiling is €8,000.

Blarney-based Cumnor Construction is building Convent Garden on a site that was once home to St Joseph's Convent, which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in the maritime town, right before the Famine, to educate and feed local schoolchildren. It later fell into dereliction and, in the early 2000s, Cumnor was granted permission to convert the austere, grey buildings into apartments and to build houses on its grounds. After several years of inactivity and a scaled-back planning application, building work restarted in 2015.

While previous phases at Convent Garden were dominated by three-bed townhouses, the latest tranche of homes are larger, with 2,067 sq ft of living space and four double bedrooms. The façades of the timber-framed homes are finished in slate and monocouche self-coloured render, with hardwood double-glazed windows. But the star attraction is a balcony off the first-floor living area that overlooks the back garden and paved patio. There is also access to the garden and patio from the dining area of the ground floor kitchen. The ground floor is home to a second living room, which overlooks the front lawn.

The A3-rated homes are just a few minutes' walk to the heart of Kinsale. Residents can avail of the nearby Blue Flag Beach at Garretstown and the world-famous Old Head Golf Club and Kinsale Golf Club. The town is also on the Wild Atlantic Way. Cork City and Cork International Airport are within a half hour's drive.An open viewing at Harvest Walk will take place from 12pm to 12.45pm tomorrow.

Enquiries to: Savills Cork (021) 427 1371

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