Estate Housing

A considerable number of clients have appointed the practice to prepare housing layouts. In most cases, the sites are located within an existing settlement and whilst a client may have a specific brief in terms of the number and type of dwellings to be built guidance is often required ensure that the new homes pay proper respect to any noteworthy features on the site and merge seamlessly with their surroundings.

The practice has also gained a reputation for the effective use of land utilising its skills for maximising the amount of development that can be obtained on a site having regard to local planning authority policies and standards.


Cook's Shipyard, Wivenhoe
Aikens Village, Stepaside
Dublin Road, Kilminchy
Weald Road, Brentwood
Harpers Lane, Portlaoise
The Crescent, Portmarnock
The site has an area of 4.6 ha. and is located at Station Road, Portmarnock about 12 km to the north east of Dublin. The strategic Dublin to Belfast railway line operating the new, fast DART service runs along the eastern boundary of the site and the station itself is situated in very close proximity. The railway provides easy access to central Dublin and the wide range of employment, educational and entertainment facilities that the city has to offer. The client for the project was The Ritz Consortium.

The site was allocated in the Fingal County Development Plan for high density housing. The aim was to create a sustainable form of development by exploiting accessibility to public transport as the preferred means to travel to work. In conjunction with the developer's in-house planning consultant with whom there was a close working relationship on planning matters and the development brief, it was considered a mixed-use scheme was appropriate. The proposed development included a total of 272 apartments and a commercial building containing office, retail and leisure uses. The net residential density was about 60 dwellings per hectare. The scheme provided an element of social/affordable housing as well as homes for first-time buyers.

The site posed design problems due to its irregular shape. Also, the eastern boundary was formed by the railway line which runs in a cutting. The western boundary consisted of a long evergreen hedge some 6m to 8m in height providing privacy to the existing adjoining dwellings located to the west. The northern and southern boundaries to New Road and Station Road respectively were also defined by hedgerows.

The means by which a large number of residents could overlook and have convenient access to amenity areas was to create a nucleus of open space and group the apartment blocks around the periphery. Within the limitations imposed by the site, the most efficient form of layout was considered to consist of two large crescents that were juxtaposed to embrace an oval central core.

Further residential blocks were orientated along both adjoining roads to create attractive, built frontages to those thoroughfares.

The competing need to provide both car parking and open space within a strictly confined space required central core to perform a dual function. It comprised, therefore, a semi-basement car park with appropriately landscaped Class 2 Urban Open Space on the roof.

Additional open space was provided around the outside of the development to create a buffer between the apartment blocks and the railway line and the existing dwellings on the east and west sides of the site.

The development is imaginative in concept and provides an attractive, sustainable living environment. The project indicates an ability to respond to a highly creative manner to a brief and secure a planning permission for a level of development beyond the client's expectation.

Knock Rushen, Castletown
Cambridge Close, Stock
Great Berry, Laindon