Monday 23 September 2019

New home view: On the Brighton side

Brighton Wood, Foxrock, Dublin 18 Asking price: €825,000-€1.5m Agent: Sherry FitzGerald New Homes (01) 6671888

The living room at the three-bed Brighton Woods
The living room at the three-bed Brighton Woods
The exterior of Brighton Wood

In the 1890s, the introduction of the garden city movement in England envisioned a series of utopian towns, surrounded by rolling green belts that would separate housing from industry and combine the best of the city and countryside. But almost half a century beforehand, the forward-thinking developers of Foxrock had the same idea.

In 1859, William and John Bentley, along with Edward and Anthony Fox, leased land at the Foxrock estate from the Church of Ireland with a plan to create an affluent garden suburb.

The vision hinged on the development, in 1854, of the Harcourt Street railway line, which put Foxrock within commuting distance of Dublin city centre. To launch the garden suburb, the developers put the following ad in a national newspaper: "Beautiful building sites for mansions and pretty villas - Foxrock estate", adding that "the scenery (green and mountain) from Brighton Road, just finished, leading from the hotel at Foxrock station to Carrickmines, is magnificent."

Due to a slower-than-expected initial take-up of lots, the developers of Foxrock went bankrupt and never lived to see their dream become a reality. But their concept of a wealthy suburb eventually caught on: these days, Foxrock is the second-most expensive place in Ireland to buy a home, after Sandycove, according to's 2017 wealth report.

The exterior of Brighton Wood
The exterior of Brighton Wood

Off Brighton Road, one of the three roads that remain from the original 19th-century development, sits Brighton Wood.

Brighton Wood is located just 600m from the centre of Foxrock village, beside the Leopardstown Racecourse, which was completed in 1888.

At the scheme, where the homes are laid out in a series of clusters interspersed by woodland, developer Castlethorn borrowed design elements from Edwardian and Victorian houses in Foxrock.

When finishing the exteriors of the properties, it also chose materials and finishes that would age well and blend in with their period counterparts, such as roughcast render, bell cast detail with terracotta-toned tiles, string courses, granite to the window sills and chimney caps, and West Hoathly facing brick. In addition, the 12-ac site's natural environment served as the inspiration for Brighton Wood's house types, which include the Birch, the Hazel and the Elder.

The development was initially launched in December, with a second phase following in March. A third release, consisting of 13 two, three and four-bed properties, is being launched this weekend. The tranche includes two new house types: the two-bed detached Violet style, which extends over 1,269 sq ft and costs from €825,000, is expected to "fly out the door" because of its appeal to well-heeled local downsizers, the selling agents say.

The four-bed house types, the terraced Hazel and semi-detached Birch, are also new and cost from €850,000. There are four styles of the three-bed house types at Brighton Wood, with sizes ranging from 1,232 sq ft to 1,329 sq ft, and prices starting at €715,000. Prices for the five-bed homes range from €1m for the semi-detached, three-storey Fern type to €1.5m for the two-storey Elder design.

Inside, the layouts are traditional in style, but the finishes lend a sleek contemporary feel. There are extra-high ceilings throughout the ground floor, the bespoke SieMatic fitted kitchens from Arena Kitchens come with recessed under-cabinet lighting and Corian worktop tops in a glacier white, and it's all about the clean lines.

In the bathrooms and ensuites, the Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware is also contemporary by design. Each living room, meanwhile, has a bespoke contemporary-style fireplace and a Wanders Square 60 wood-burning stove.

The A3-rated houses have a slew of energy-efficient features, including a mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system, solar panels to provide hot water, and a Climote system that enables residents to control heating and hot water remotely.

Viewings will be held between 10am and 12pm tomorrow and Sunday.

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