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Aoibhin Bryant

Credit: VINCI-Airports.com

Work begins on £100m Belfast Airport Revamp

By | Industry News

Work has begun on the £100 million revamp at Belfast International Airport.

The extension will see a brand new security building for the airport in a five-year expansion plan.

In this building, Generation 3 x-ray equipment will be installed to keep the airport in line with the United Kingdom’s new guidelines.

The plan put forward by the airport’s owner VINCI Airports also sees an update to existing facilities, including an improved airside departure area with additional departure gates and extra seating.

Travellers in the future will be treated to extra shopping and catering facilities.

The Border Force area will also be extended over the next five years.

Phase one began this October with the demolition of the old arrivals terminal. Work will then commence on the construction of the new £25 million security building, next to the departures terminal.

It is estimated that 400 local construction jobs will be created for the duration of the build.

“VINCI Airports’ investment will support Belfast International Airport’s positive dynamic by strongly improving the passenger experience,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions & President of VINCI Airports.

“The airport plays a pivotal role for aviation, tourism and the wider local economy. As a long-term partner, VINCI Airports is committed to sustainably develop the airport and increase its environmental performance”.

In December of last year, the UK government set a deadline of June 2024 for all of its airports to install the new Standard 3 x-ray equipment.

The new x-ray machines will see an end to 100ml liquid restrictions when travelling.

Instead, passengers will no longer have to take liquids and large electrical items out of their cabin luggage while going through security.

“The tiny toiletry has become a staple of airport security checkpoints, but that’s all set to change. I’m streamlining cabin bag rules at airports while enhancing security,” UK’s Transport Secretary Mark Harper said at the time.

“By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queuing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threat.”

Feature Image Credit: VINCI-Airports.com

Plans applied for €193m 716-home residential development in Meath

By | Industry News

AZRA Property Company Limited has put forward plans to deliver 716 new homes in Co Meath.

The applicants have applied for a ten-year contract to construct the €193 million development on the townlands of Castle Farm, Ruskin, and Clonee on a site of approximately 16.92HA.

Developers hope to build a mixture of apartments, duplexes, and terraced, semi-detached and detached houses of two storeys.

There will be 517 apartments in total –123 one-beds, 378 two-beds and 60 three-beds across eight blocks varying in height from four to seven storeys.

There will be 517 apartments in total across eight blocks varying in height from four to seven storeys. Credit: Plus Architecture Ltd

There will be 517 apartments in total across eight blocks varying in height from four to seven storeys. Credit: Plus Architecture Ltd

They will be divided into three sections – the largest being Blocks A1, A2, A3 and A4 with 10 one-bed apartments, 202 two-beds and 24 three-beds in four to six-storey apartments.

These are followed by Blocks B1 and B2 with 55 one-beds, 80 two-beds and 12 three-beds, and finally Block C1 and C2 with 36 one-beds, 78 two-beds and 20 three-beds and finally Blocks C1 and C2 with

Of the 155 houses, six are two-bedroom houses, 69 are three-beds, 74 are four-beds and four are five-beds.

The dwellings will be constructed on lands bordered by agriculturally zoned lands on the east and south, west of the Iarnrod Eireann rail line and north of other residential developments.

Developers have also proposed alterations to two roundabouts on the R147 Old Navan Road to accommodate the new dwellings.

There will be 517 apartments in total across eight blocks varying in height from four to seven storeys. Credit: Plus Architecture Ltd

Of the 155 houses, six are two-bedroom houses, 69 are three-beds, 74 are four-beds and four are five-beds. Credit: Plus Architecture Ltd

Applicants Azra Property Company Limited submitted plans to Meath County Council on September 1.

The council are expected to reach a decision on the development by the end of this month, October 26.

Feature Image Credit: Plus Architecture Ltd

New National Maternity Hospital for St. Vincent’s University Hospital Goes To Tender

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

A new National Maternity Hospital at St. Vincent’s University Hospital has officially gone to tender.

The €182m development initially received the go-ahead from Cabinet last July.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has now began their search for a bidder to fund the new hospital.

Once a successful bidder has been found, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will return to Cabinet for the signing of contracts.

The project will then proceed to the main construction phase.

The plan sees the hospital relocated from its original building at Holles Street to its new campus with 244 beds (including 38 in-patient beds) on a 10.55 hectare site.

Existing facilities will be demolished and in its place, a new 53,676m2 square metre gross floor area building will be developed at the eastern end of the St. Vincent’s University Hospital Campus.

This building will rise to up to seven storeys in height above ground level, with one partial basement level.

It will provide medical and surgical specialities for maternity, gynaecology, paediatrics, neonatology, pathology, genetics, anaesthesia, emergency medicine, endocrinology/diabetes, pain management, oncology, colposcopy, urodynamics, foetal medicine, haematology, and replacement facilities for St. Vincent’s University Hospital including a new dermatology unit, a medical records department, finance department offices and ancillary shared facilities.

National Maternity Hospital

The plan sees the National Maternity Hospital relocated from its original building at Holles Street to its new campus with 244 beds (including 38 in-patient beds) on a 10.55 hectare site. Credit: ARC

To accommodate the additional demand of the new hospital, the existing multi-storey car park at St Vincent’s University Hospital will be expanded with two levels vertically and a five-level extension to make way for 277 new spaces and two new entrances.

In order to not disrupt the daily operation of the hospital campus, the development will be constructed in a sequential manner with provisions made for temporary accommodation on the site.

Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly welcomed Cabinet’s approval last July as an “important milestones” towards the delivery of the new National Maternity Hospital.

“The new National Maternity Hospital will be the biggest and most important investment in women’s healthcare in Ireland in decades. The quality of care delivered at the existing NMH at Holles Street is of the highest standard but is currently limited by infrastructural constraints,” he said in his announcement.

“The new NMH is designed to be aligned with leading international standards which will result in improved patient and family experiences. Co-location of the NMH with St Vincent’s at Elm Park will enable greater and more direct access to a wide range of critical care and specialist medical services, reducing risk for both the mother and the newborn baby.”

Minister Donnelly also stressed that the new hospital will not merely be a replacement but “offer almost 50% more in-patient and day case beds and provide additional capacity to manage national unmet need for women’s health services”.

“The contemporary design of the new NMH provides flexibility to allow for the delivery of clinical services and to adapt to both expected and unforeseen change into the future.”

Feature Image Credit: ARC

Feature Image Credit: Graham Construction

Official Sod Turning Takes Place For First Build-To-Rent Apartments in Belfast

By | Industry News

The official sod turning has taken place for the development of £117 million apartments in Belfast.

While preparatory construction work gas began on site in July, the main contractor Graham Construction has officially started work on the site which will deliver 778 apartments in the Titanic Quarter of the city.

Developers Watkin Jones held a ceremony on September 12 to mark the beginning of the first Build To Rent scheme in Northern Ireland.

Known as The Loft Lines, it will house 627 Build to Rent apartments alongside 151 affordable homes (for Clanmil Housing Association) across three different buildings.

Forward funded by Legal & General, they will include studios, one-bed, two-beds and three-beds on the 3.8-acre site.

Credit: Todd Architects

The official sod turning has taken place for the development of £117 million apartments in Belfast. Credit: Todd Architects

Each block will provide a shared external amenity courtyard on the first floor and another amenity space at the roof level.

There will also be lounges, cinema rooms, sports and recreational spaces and children’s play areas for the apartments.

In a ‘resident first’ approach, cyclists and pedestrians will be prioritised over cars which includes bike storage with wash down and repair facilities as well as covered storage for visitors’ cycles.

The scheme was brought forward by a development partnership of Watkin Jones PLC, Pirrie Belfast Limited and Lacuna Developments.

While securing approval to go-ahead in October last year, construction was delayed due to the financial climate.

Credit: Todd Architects

Known as The Loft Lines, it will house 627 Build to Rent apartments alongside 151 affordable homes (for Clanmil Housing Association) across three different buildings. Credit: Todd Architects

Speaking at the ceremony marking the dawn of construction, Group Investment Director for Watkin Jone George Dyer hailed the Titanic Quarter as an area ‘steeped in rich history’.

“Transforming this brownfield site into a thriving place to live and acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration,” he said with the backdrop of the Titanic Museum behind him.

“The development is being brought to fruition by a partnership approach between all stakeholders and funders and we are grateful for the genuine collaboration we have experienced with our partners. This event demonstrates the progress the teams are making for the city of Belfast.”

Anthony Best, Managing Director of Lacuna Developments, said it was ‘fantastic’ to see the development come to life.

Feature Image Credit: Graham Construction

Speaking at the ceremony marking the dawn of construction, Group Investment Director for Watkin Jone George Dyer hailed the Titanic Quarter as an area ‘steeped in rich history’. Credit: Graham Construction

“Along with public realm, retail for the wider TQ community and a creche which the scheme will deliver, it is hugely exciting to be involved in the event.”

Completion of the apartments is expected in late 2025.

Feature Image Credit: Graham Construction

Construction of 1200 homes begins in Donabate

By | Industry News

Work has begun on the €264 million residential development at Ballymastone, Donabate.

Construction of the first 432 has commenced in the first phase of the development in north county Dublin.

The first batch of homes will be delivered by H2 2024 with developers anticipating the first phase to be completed by H2 2025.

At 28 hectares, the project will provide up to 1200 homes – one of the largest residential developments in the country.

Of these homes, 60% will be private housing, 20% will be affordable housing and 20% will be social housing.

Credit: Fingal County Council

Work has begun on the €264 million, 1200-home development at Ballymastone, Donabate — one of the largest residential developments in the country. Credit: Fingal County Council

More than 11% of the site will be reserved for public open spaces with small parks and pocket parks close to the housing.

The scheme will also include other community facilities such as creches, EV charging points, and improved transport links.

Fingal County Council councillors voted through the development 31 votes to 9 on May 25, 2025.

In January 24 2022, Glenveagh Living Limited was awarded the contract.

Speaking at the sod-turning on August 25, Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien welcomed the site as a “significant” provider of private, social and affordable housing for north county Dublin.

“As we work towards achieving the targets outlined under the Housing For All plan, developments such as this will alleviate some of the pressure on the housing market and provide quality and sustainable homes for families, young people and the wider community,” he said.

Chief Executive of Glenveagh, Stephen Garvey hailed the development as a “landmark partnership for the community of Donabate and Portrane.

Credit: Fingal County Council

Speaking at the sod-turning on August 25, Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien welcomed the site as a “significant” provider of private, social and affordable housing for north county Dublin. Credit: Fingal County Council

“We have gotten to a place where we can now deliver 1,200 energy-efficient, sustainable, and high-quality homes for over 3000 people, alongside a world-class hub of recreational and sporting facilities for the people of Donabate, Portrane and the entire community,” he said.

“Our job at Glenveagh is to create vibrant, flourishing communities across Ireland, and we will continue to work collaboratively with Fingal County Council and the Government to deliver these homes and recreational facilities as quickly as we can, to ensure that thousands of people can call Balmoston and the wider community of Donabate and Portrane their home for generations to come.”

Feature Image Credit: Fingal County Council

Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

Green light for €313m 1,325 apartments in Cork’s city centre

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

Cork City Council has approved plans for the largest residential development to date in the city centre.

Applicants Leeside Quays Ltd ( a subsidiary of O’Callaghan Properties) were given the go-ahead to deliver their €313 million plan for 1325 apartments on the Gouldings Site in Cork’s docklands.

The development will see the demolition of all existing buildings and structures on site (bounded by Centre Park and Monahan Road) to build the apartments and duplexes across 10 different buildings, running from two to 14 storeys over basement.

Of these apartments, 658 will be one-beds, 465 will be two-beds and 202 will be three-beds.

Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

Of these 1325 apartments, 658 will be one-beds, 465 will be two-beds and 202 will be three-beds across 10 buildings varying from two to 14 storeys. Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

The first block (G1) will comprise of 182 residential units (87 one-beds, 62 two-beds, and 33 three-beds), varying from five to eight storeys.

Block G2 will have 237 units (134 one-beds, 95 two-beds, and 44 three-beds) across six to eight storeys.

Block G3A is six to eight storeys and will comprise 103 units (63 one-beds, 24 two-beds and 16 three-beds).

Block G3B will have seven to eight storeys and just 77 units (44 one-beds, 20 two-beds and 13 three-beds).

Block G4A will range from three to seven storeys and provide 115 units (52 one-beds, 46 two-beds and 17 three-beds)

Block G4B comes up to seven storeys with 60 units (21 one-beds and 39 two-bed).

Block G5 has 162 units (75 one-beds, 54 two-beds and 33 three-beds), climbing up to three to seven storeys.

Block G6 will range from three to seven storeys at 172 units in total (83 one-beds, 58 two-beds and 31 three-beds).

Block G7 is at a similar height of three to seven storeys but with only 91 apartments (50 beds, 26 two-beds and 15 three-beds).

Finally, at the development’s tallest, is Block G8 rising up to an impressive 14 storeys and holding 172 apartments (50 one-beds, 26 two-beds and 15 three-beds).

A standalone two-storey creche of 665 s.q.m and associated outdoor amenities was also proposed in plans.

On the ground floor level across the 6.84ha development, four cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating areas are planned, as well as five service retail units, one convenience retail store with a licence to sell alcohol and four offices.

Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

On the ground floor level across the 6.84ha development, four cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating areas are planned, as well as five service retail units, one convenience retail store with a licence to sell alcohol and four offices. Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

The council also gave a gym of 233 sq.m the green-light, and further play and exercise areas will be allocated across the site (consisting of 25,384 sq.m of public open space).

Vehicular access will be provided to the basement with 300 car parking spaces in total (17 disability spaces, 60 EV spaces and five car share spaces) as well as 1,338 long-stay cycle park spaces and 30 motorcycle spaces.

An additional three disability spaces, 355 short-stay cycle parking spaces and two set-down areas will be distributed across the on-surface level.

A mobility hub is also proposed on Centre Park Road.

Cork City Council approved plans on August 24 subject to 51 conditions.

Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

Cork City Council approved plans on August 24 subject to 51 conditions. Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

Among these conditions, the council ruled that the proposed creche would be omitted. Instead, the applicants will submit revised plans for the provision of a similar-sized creche within Block G5.

They also ruled that a maximum of 21 car-parking spaces will be allocated for non-residents.

Feature Image Credit: Henry J Lyons Architects

Work on €124m Strategic Housing Development in Cork commences

By | Industry News

Work has officially begun for the expansive €124 million Strategic Housing Development (SHD) in Co Cork.

Construction commenced in late July, three years after initial approval for the scheme.

Developer Longview Estates Ltd is set to deliver 753 new homes on the site at Lahardane and Ballincolly.

Of these dwellings, 531 will be houses and 222 are apartments.

Granted seven-year permission from An Bord Pleanala, construction will take place during a series of phases with the aim of six neighbourhoods to be built in total.

There will be 67 no. detached houses, including 31 four-beds and 36 three-beds.

Credit: Arko Visualisation

Credit: Arko Visualisation

Semi-detached make up the bulk of the houses of 278 – 41 four-beds and 237 three-beds.

Plans also envision 186 terraced houses, 18 four-beds, 96 three-beds and 72 two-beds.

In regards to the apartments, there will be 69 duplexes – including 36 three-beds and 33 two-beds.

For the other 153 apartments, six are studios, 42 are one-beds, 79 are two-beds and 26 are three-beds.

The apartments will be built across three blocks, two in Neighbour 6 and one in Neighbourhood 2.

Aside from residential units, there are provisions for a local centre including two retail units, a crèche, a doctor’s surgery and a community use unit.

Credit: Horgan Carroll

Credit: Horgan Carroll

The development includes a number of open spaces and play areas as well as general landscaping, boundary treatments (including walls and landscaping to the houses to the north and lands to the east), and landscaped parkland/greenway.

Two vehicular accesses will be set up from the Ballyhooly Read and from the local road to the north of the site – this will see local road widening within applicant lands, resurfacing and boundary works.

Signalisation will occur on the Lower Dublin Hill and Ballyhooly Road Junction as well as a new bus stop on the eastern side of Ballyjollly Road.

New pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure will be drawn along the eastern side of the Ballyhooly Road with a crossing of the same close to Mervue Lawn South.

Planning was granted by An Bord Pleanala on May 27, 2020 subject to 31 conditions.

In their decision report, ABP found that the development will have a “positive impact” on population and “will comply with the national target for the expansion of major cities”.

“Impact on human health will be neutral in the long-term.”

Feature Image Credit: Arko Visualisation

Credit: Todd Architects

Work begins for £117m 778 new homes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter

By | Industry News

Work is underway for the construction of 778 new homes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Preparatory construction work began in July for the £117 million development, right beside the city’s most popular tourist attraction Titanic Belfast.

The Loft Lines will provide Belfast’s first ever ”build-to-rent” apartments, alongside social housing, with the website stating that they have learnt from the “Swiss approach to living”.
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On a 3.8 acre site, the apartments will be split among three buildings and will include studios, one-bed, two-beds and three-beds.

Internal and external amenity spaces are in current provisions – including spaces for co-working and leisure.

Each block will provide a shared external amenity courtyard on the first floor and another amenity space at roof level.

Credit: Todd Architects

Credit: Todd Architects

Flexible commercial and community floor space has been reserved for convenience stores with a hot food counter, a cafe, a bar and a restaurant.

In regards to public realm changes, both a public recreational square and a waterfront promenade skirting along the River Lagan are planned for the development, situated on Queen’s Island.

Cycle and car parking will be provided with developers stating their intention to “prioritise pedestrians and bikes over cars” – this includes bike storage with wash down and repair facilities and covered storage for visitors’ cycles.

Although applicants Lacuna Developments, Watkin Jones PLC and Pirrie Belfast Limited secured approval in April 2022, it was announced in October that commencement would be delayed until “at least spring 2023” due to the financial climate.

By June of this year, a contract was awarded to Graham Construction and construction has now officially begun.

Completion of the apartments is expected in late 2025.

Credit: @niplanner

Credit: @niplanner

All private apartments will be run by an onsite management team and monthly rent payments will include gym and wi-fi.

On The Loft Lines website, the development has been hailed as a “new way of living for people of all ages, incomes and occupations”.

“It’s a fully managed site of private, affordable and social homes surrounded by walkways, boulevards, a park and an urban woodland. It’s a place where lifestyle is scaled up.”

Feature Image Credit: Todd Architects 

Construction underway for €66m, 276 unit housing development in Cork

By | Industry News

Construction of the €66 million Strategic Housing Development (SHD) in Ardrostig and Waterfall Road, Co Cork has officially kicked off.

This month, work began on the building of 28 homes at Ardarostig, Waterfall Road, Co Cork.

These are the first of 276 residential units planned at the site – 136 houses, 99 apartments and 40 duplexes.

Of the houses, there are set to be 40 two-storey, three-bedroom semi-detached houses, 12 two-storey, three-bedroom detached houses, 56 two-storey, three-bedroom terraced houses, 14 two-storey, four-bedroom semi-detached houses and 15 three-storey, four-bedroom terraced houses.

The apartments and duplexes will be across seven blocks ranging from three to five storeys with a total of 54 one-bed apartments, 65 two-beds and 20 three-beds.

One block (Block 5 in plans) is to provide a café (147 sq. m) fronting Waterfall Road at ground floor level.

Credit: 3D Design Bureau

This month, work began on the building of 28 homes at Ardarostig, Waterfall Road, Co Cork of the of the €66 million Strategic Housing Development (SHD). Credit: 3D Design Bureau

As part of the development, a single-storey creche (271 sq. m) is included in the plans.

The development will also provide new vehicular access and pedestrian entrances onto Waterfall Road, a two-way cycle track and pedestrian footpath.

Provisions have been made for a road to extend the existing pedestrian pathway, a pelican crossing on Waterfall Road and an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing at the Heiton Buckley/Audi Cork entrance junction to the site.

Developers Ardstone Homes Limited had put forward a planning application for the SHD in May 2021, with approval granted with conditions in September of that year.

An Bord Pleanála ruled that although granting permission to the site “would materially contravene specific local objective SE-R-10 in permitting a density of 38.7 units per hectares, in excess of the Medium B densitv range outlined in the Local Area Plan”, it would be justified due to the “national importance” in its delivery of building housing and the Project Ireland National Planning Framework.

Nearly two years on from the approval date, work officially started on July 20 this year.

Feature Image Credit: 3D Design Bureau

Construction begins on €37m Strategic Housing Development in Meath

By | Upcoming Construction Projects

Construction of the €37 million residential development at Grange End in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath is to begin this month.

On July 14, work is to get started on the building of 37 houses.

Among these houses, they will comprise three detached four-bed houses, eight semi-detached four beds, two detached three-beds, eight semi-detached three-beds and 16 terraced three-beds.

They will be numbered 15 & 16 Grange Park, 01-13 Grange Park Green, 01-06 Grange Park Road and 01-16 Grange Park Place, Dunshaughlin respectively.

Applicants Loughglynn Developments Ltd T/A Hora Homes previously secured planning for the demolition of two derelict buildings and the construction of 211 dwellings in total, consisting of 112 two-storey houses (21 four-beds, 92 three-beds) and 99 apartments.

The apartments will be built in six three-to-four-storey blocks with six one-beds, 90 two-beds and three three-beds.

Credit: Digital Dimensions

Credit: Digital Dimensions

All residential dwellings will have associated private gardens, balconies or terraces to the north, south, west or west of the elevations.

Plans were granted for the provision of 362 car parking spaces and 264 secure bike parking spaces.

The construction of a creche is also included in plans alongside a new civic park.

Works to configure a 250m section of the Dunshaughlin (East) Main Distributor Road were approved along with provisions for new verges, paths and cycle lanes to be realigned along the R125 to create a new street.

Additional vehicular access is also underway.

With plans put forward in May 2020, An Bord Pleanála approved the Strategic Housing Development back in September 2020 under a number of conditions.

Among these conditions, it includes the omission of one house, a pedestrian and cycle path to be provided to the south of house number 3 and no more than 75 residential units to be occupied until the completion of the childcare facility (unless the developer can demonstrate to the planning authority that a childcare facility is not needed at that time).

Credit: Digital Dimensions

Credit: Digital Dimensions

Developers were also to pay a financial contribution to the planning authorities in respect of public infrastructure and facilities prior to commencement of construction.

On top of that, they were expected to lodge a cash deposit, a bond of an insurance company, or other
security to the local authority to secure the protection of the trees on site and the completion and maintenance of roads, footpaths, watermains, drains, public open space and other services required in connection with the development.

Featured Image Credit: Digital Dimensions