Tommy Barker

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New road at the end of long road to 600 Glanmire homes

Glanmire’s Ballinglanna 600-home development has extra incentives under LIHAF initiative, finds Tommy Barker

New road at the end of long road to 600 Glanmire homes

    Ballinglanna, Glanmire
  • €295,000-€485,00
  • Size: 1,066 sq ft - 2,087 sq ft
  • Bedrooms: 2/3/4
  • Bathrooms: 2-4
  • BER: A2

Glanmire’s Ballinglanna 600-home development has extra incentives under LIHAF initiative, finds Tommy Barker

It's been a very long road to Cork’s most significant new home development in years, at Ballinglanna by Glanmire, - and, now, there’s a whole new road linkage to it too, with a key €2.2m spend on improved road access and services just being delivered to the c €200m development of 608 new homes.

Not only are the first of the 600-plus homes fully sprung out of the ground here at the edge of Glanmire, with no less than six showhouses displaying their wares of what’s on offer and what’s to come, but there’s very significant extra buyer incentives worth €20,000 – along with the Government’s Help to Buy schemes – for qualifying buyers under the special terms of LIHAF, the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) buyer incentives.

That €20,000 discount is available to a total 110 purchasers only, in this development under Government overseen terms via the Rebuilding Ireland action plan, and is taken off the assessed market sales value of the new-builds: then, buyers can also get further incentives from the new net price, under the Help to Buy scheme.

Delivered through planning last year as Cork’s first successful SHD (Strategic Housing Development ), on lands in the Glanmire valley acquired for €30m as far back as 2003 by O’Flynn Construction, Ballinglanna is also the first new homes development in Cork to come on stream under LIHAF. This is still a scheme generally unfamiliar to buyers who, by now, are already familiar with the entirely separate Help to Buy initiative, and which was extended in Budget 2020.

In return for State funding of €2.2m to enable Ballinglana’s lands to be opened up with improved roads and services, that same sum is to be paid back to buyers under special terms, equivalent to €20,000 to each of the 110 qualifying buyers of two and three bed homes in Ballinglanna’s specific case (the amounts vary from one LIHAF location to another.).

To qualify, these 110 buyers need to be First Time Buyers, or buyers in negative equity in their current home, or else divorced or separate persons, and the terms for Ballinglanna have just recently been signed off on by Cork City Manager Ann Doherty, after Glanmire came under the city council’s remit following last year’s local authority boundary extension.

The scheme launched in a low-key manner earlier this year, as the hillside site was first opened up. Quickly hoving into view and showing the scheme’s imminence was the very extensive landscaping; now, after the past month of dramatic new roadworks, it is rapidly appearing as a scheme of major, future regional significance.

The road changes, also by Glanmire Rectory and the back of Dunkathel House and lands (which is also owned by O’Flynn Group) will ease routes to the Dunkathel Interchange, and back around towards Glanmire and the M7 Dublin road via Fernwood, taking some pressure off the historic Glanmire Bridge, the graceful three-arch stone bridge by the AIB and the bridge is used as a logo for Ballinglanna’s marketing also.

Pending even more significant improvements to the roads around the Dunkettle Interchange, the number of houses at Ballinglanna is capped at 400, and the remaining 200+will follow once the tunnel’s vitally-needed works are completed. And, then, presumably, Dunkathel House’s lands will also come on stream.....

The build period at Ballinglanna will be five to seven years, reckons estate agent Paul Hannon, New Homes Director with agents Sherry FitzGerald, and he says there’s 50 sales her to date, mostly to first-time buyers and to some traders. There’s practically no investor purchasers at all so far, he observes.

The scheme, by architects Doyle McDonagh Nash, wraps around the front and side of the period Ballinglanna House, still a private family home having changed hands a decade or so back, in defined sections picking up local resonances and links, such as Church Green, and Mill View, and there are three distinct house styles. One’s with a part brick and render finish, another has a plaster finish and, finally, also a more contemporary style, white render with grey windows.

The first phase at Church Green has up to twelve house variations, and this is where the suite of six showhouses are now up and running, with input from designers Carmel Downey, Celine Collins, Emma O’Kelly, and Katie Maher Barry, with the latter two each doing two show homes.

They’ve been on Open Weekend viewings initially, with some 250 through the first opening weekend and about the same number visited in the period since, but for the next while will be open by appointment only, says Mr Hannon.

The smaller units to date are the stronger sellers, and prices start at €295,000 for a 1,066 sq ft three-bed mid-terrace townhouse. Terraced ends with a slightly larger footprint are €310,000; 1,087 sq ft three-bed semi-ds are €320,000; larger ones again at 1,281 sq ft/1,291 sq ft are €330,000 and four-bed semis of 1,438 sq ft are €380,000 each.

The biggest, the four-bed semis are €485,000 and span floor areas of 1,926 to 2,087 sq ft.

Already impressive looking on a site visit, the overall development is notable for wide paths/cycle lanes, and will include play areas, and a commercial/retail element, with creche, and a site’s reserved for a national school.

The A2-rated, air-tight new homes have SmartZone security and IT/phone connectivity, plus air to water heating and mechanical ventilation and will have annual running costs “in the hundreds of euros, not the thousands,” says agent Paul Hanon

And, he adds, the purchase prices pretty much across the board, even excluding the LIHAF advantage for 110 buyers, will be considerably less than renting an equivalent new build.

VERDICT: Ballinglanna’s been a long time coming, but is now a first for its SHD status, and for its LIHAF €20,000 incentive for qualifying buyers.

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