Intro Text 

#HousingFocus (1st-5th October 2018)

#HousingFocus is a national awareness campaign commencing the week beginning 1st October.  

#Day5 #HousingContext - The work involved in housing development across Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown must always take into consideration infrastructure, connectivity and economic development.  Currently there are 41 active sites in the County, not including Council owned sites.  Some exciting developments in the pipeline include 155 social and affordable homes on Enniskerry Road, Clay Farm in Leopardstown and Cherrywood SDZ which are both well underway.

The project of unprecedented scale and the biggest and most ambitious project currently in the State is Cherrywood SDZ. Development on this remarkable new town in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown at the foot of the Dublin Mountains overlooking Dublin Bay started in 2016. It is anticipated that the entire development will be completed in approximately 5-8 years with c. 8,000 homes provided and 20,000 residents living there including c. 2,000 social housing tenants. This new town will create approximately 20,000 new jobs not including the jobs already created during construction and development

Cherrywood is being built with the supporting infrastructure needed in a development of this type i.e. roads, parks, schools, public transport etc.  While there is already good public transport connectivity in the area with the LUAS and bus services and the nearby M50 and N11, improved transport infrastructure has been planned. Community is at the core of the development and the facilities proposed include community centres, a new library, youth activity space and crèchs. There are 4 Primary schools and 2 Post-primary schools close to public transport planned and all residents can enjoy the 6 new parks with playgrounds, sports facilities and extensive greenways and trails. 

Cherrywood will be a place where communities will be created, where people can live, work and play in an integrated, accessible and adaptable environment for all regardless of age in an area rich in heritage.

Day 4 #Quality #Innovation - The Council’s ethos is to  provide age-friendly, bright, spacious, comfortable accommodation with superb indoor air quality and low running costs for our tenants.  The following are some example of our recent exemplar developments and award winning homes.

George’s Place – The development at George’s Place consists of 12 houses in total, ten 2-bed terraced and two 2-bed semi-detached. Awarded the Silver Certificate from the Irish Green Building Council, each home was designed to a very high specification, incorporating the latest innovations and build technology, resulting in ultra-modern, energy efficient and high quality houses.  With near Zero Energy Buildings ‘nZEB’ due to become mandatory for all housing stock in the near future, these A1 homes demonstrate how this can be achieved cost effectively, all on a rapid build programme on a difficult site. George’s Place has been shortlisted for SEAI Energy Awards, the winning project will be announced on Thursday 25th October.

The Mews - is a new build social housing project completed by the Council. This project is innovative both from an environmental perspective and for its’ social goals. Environmentally, the project is to near Zero Energy Build BER A1.  However, the outstanding feature of this development is its’ use of limited space.  The site was chosen to encourage downsizing in order to free up larger units in the area. The development uses an underused corner garden site in an existing suburb to provide four one-bed homes which are designed to allow adaptive use over time thereby allowing older people to downsize and stay in their local community.  This increases density in the estate, improves the mix of housing and makes use of empty space. This exemplar project won the RIAI 2018 Sustainability Award. 

St Michael's Terrace 4-bed house with battery and solar panel – This project links photo voltaic (PV) solar panels in the roof to a storage battery which can then be used by the tenant for electrical usage at night. This project aims both to reduce fuel poverty and enhance the use of renewable solar energy and is being trialled by dlr Energy Team, the Housing Department and Solo Energy. 

Rochestown House, Phase 2 - part of a wider upgrade project, this energy upgrade of existing social housing for the elderly is located in Sallynoggin. The upgrade was to pilot a retrofit project to Passive House EnerPHit Standard and was part of a wider EU EuroPHit Pilot. There is a continuous post occupancy energy evaluation linked to a Building Management System. This exemplar project won the RIAI 2017 Sustainability Award and fed into the roll-out of the national SEAI Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme of which DLR is a participant.

One of our next projects in Churchtown is looking at using a combination of photovoltaic solar panels with a storage battery and carbon painted plasterboard for the room heaters.   The Council recognises the importance of conserving the Earth’s natural resources and it will continue to be proactive in trialling all new methods of energy efficiency in order to lower our energy footprint.

Day 3 #BuildingCommunitiesDún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council plays a major role in the development of the County and recognises that it is not enough to just provide the basic physical infrastructure of housing to form a community. The Housing Department works closely with the Community Development Section whose aim is to help people to help themselves.  They support communities in setting up their own local groups based on their needs. 

One of their current projects underway is an extension of the Community Centre in Sallynoggin specifically for the elderly in that area.  This complements the new homes recently completed close by.

Day 1/2 #HousingDelivery - We are committed to maintaining and building on our progress in delivering new social housing solutions for the community, and supporting the development of new residential housing to increase supply within the county. 

Through Rebuilding Ireland, Local Authorities are delivering homes throughout the Country.  dlr plan to provide 650 social housing homes in 2018, of which 356 have already been delivered.  Those completed around the County include 29 new homes in Blackrock, Sallynoggin and Dún Laoghaire.

By the end of the year the construction of a further 44 units in Dundrum, 50 units in Mounttown and 14 homes in Sallynoggin will also be completed. 

We are also availing of the Rebuilding Ireland’s Buy and Renew Scheme to bringing vacant properties back into use - 12 such homes were acquired in Churchtown and are currently being refurbished for letting by the end of the year.

We are adding to our stock by building social housing homes, acquiring and leasing homes, supporting the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in building new homes and we are bringing vacant homes back into use.   While increasing supply through new builds is absolutely necessary and urgent, building takes time.  Acquiring and leasing existing properties can be speedier and more flexible with such an unprecedented demand for social housing.

To date in 2018, planning permission has been approved for 3790 homes in the County.  This is an exceptional growth in figures in part due to the 1591 homes in the Cherrywood Town Centre, which is a one-off Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) in the County.  Excluding the Cherrywood SDZ, planning permissions granted have almost doubled since 2017.

There is a great deal involved in getting a housing development off the ground, various departments need to work together in order to build quality housing within sustainable communities.  The Housing Department works closely with the Architects Department, Planning, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Municiple Services and the Community Department.  The chart below outlines the various stages required to bring a housing development to completion.

A. Land bank

Land is identified and a high level assessment is carried out to identify services on the land and any issues.

B. Feasibility

A  Study on the Site is carried out to see how many homes the site will allow.

C. Stage (i) Preliminary

A concept design of the site is carried out.

D. Stage (ii) Design

The design is developed to the level of planning permission application.

E. Stage (iii) Tender

Tender Drawings are completed and the Tender process is initiated. 

F. stage (iv) Construction

The awarded contractor goes on site.

G. Stage (v) Handover

On completion, the tenant gets their new home.

We are building quality and sustainable homes and are delivering housing solutions that work for individuals, families and communities and this will continue to be a central focus for our staff.