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Housing planned near you? An update on what is planned and what is just being considered.

Old Court Demesne, Sunbeam House Lands, Parnell Rd., Rehills Land, Kilbride Lodge & Sutton Villas – these are all locations where housing is planned or people believe that housing is planned.


I hope to provide some clarity on what is actually scheduled, the type of housing it is or if in fact nothing is confirmed and the decision will ultimately be made by the land owner and those with the authority to issue planning permission.


I am regularly approached by individuals, community groups and even developers in relation to housing and housing issues. Having worked in the housing sector for over 20 years I’ve developed a number of skills in the area, but as the biggest issue facing our Country and that of other countries housing is constantly evolving and new schemes and programmes are always being developed.


It’s my view that we need a wide range of housing options to meet different housing needs and people’s different circumstances.


Currently the following are some of the options available.


  • Social Housing – available to rent from the Local Authority or an Approved Housing Body (AHB) for a weekly rent linked to your income.  This option is available to those on limited income and who have registered with their local Council. Recently AHB's have a new Regulator called AHBRA, homes provided by local authorities do not fall under this regulation at present.

  • Cost Rental – the latest housing option which is being provided by Approved Housing Bodies and the Land Development Agency.  This is long term rental accommodation aimed at those who do not qualify for social housing but do not earn enough to access a mortgage. 

  • Private purchase & Private rent – the most well known options where homes are rented or purchased in the private market

  • Affordable purchase – another relatively new option where homes are purchased either fully or in part (with the remainder rented) and at a reduced costs which is less than the market value. We have some in Wicklow but none yet in the Bray MD area.

When I purchased my first ever home is was under the Shared Ownership scheme which at the time allowed me to purchase 50% of the home by way of a mortgage from the local authority and rent the other 50% from the Council until I could buy it back.  I purchased my home in what was actually Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councils area, in Woodbrook Glen in Bray.  The allowed purchase price was higher in this area and yet I could stay in Bray.  It’s one of the reasons I am very against limiting access to  schemes totally to those living in a particular County.  Much of our County neighbours Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Kildare County Council and even Wexford County Councils areas.  Limits like those suggested by some Councillors would prohibit the citizens of Wicklow from having the opportunity to access homes that border our County, just like I had the opportunity to.


In this update I wanted to provide you with some information on different sites in Bray that you may or may not have heard talk about and to provide you with the latest factual information.  As always if anyone has any questions or wants to discuss any items please do not hesitate to contact me.


Old Court Demesne



This land is accessed up Sunbeam lane and backs onto a number of existing estates including Sugarloaf, Charnwood, Giltsphur Brook, Glencourt and Ryecroft.  The land is currently being sold privately, 16 acres in total however only 8 of these can be built on.  I visited the site recently and wrote to the Council to ask that they consider purchasing it to protect the historical Old Court Castle which is on the site, a number of historical crosses and the biodiversity which exists in this 'green lung' in the middle of our town. 


I suggested that the Council consider using the residential element of the land to build ‘Affordable homes’ as this is a real gap in Bray and would allow those who cannot access the Social Housing list to purchase their own homes.  The Council considered the request but do not believe that the current asking price represents value for money and feel that the site has a number of challenges.  They do however recognise the heritage and environmental value of the site and are agreeable to ensuring that this is protected when the new owners are found. 


The land is still for sale privately and as such it is likely that housing will eventually be built on the site, subject of course to planning.  As a Councillor I have no role in negotiating what is built here but like others in the area I will be watching any future planning applications closely.


Sunbeam House, Vevay Road




Located beside Old Court Demesne, this land is located directly behind Sugarloaf, Giltspur Brook and Lauderdale Estate.  The land already contains apartments of Social Housing which are operated by Sunbeam House Services namely Lucinda Lodge. 


I have been asked locally what is planned for the large house on the site which was previously used by Youthreach.  I can confirm that this site is owned by Sunbeam Trust. 


Sunbeam Trust is a separate entity / organisation to Sunbeam House Services and it is my understanding that they (Sunbeam Trust) are exploring options to sell or develop the land.  This is a private transaction and as such I am not aware of the details.  Any proposed development by the existing or future owner will require planning permission.  I will continue to watch for any applications here as I am sure local residents will too.


Central Garage, Parnell Road, Bray


The proposal is to develop 17 apartments for Age Friendly Social Housing (for individuals on the Local Authority Housing list), over 5 floors.  This contract has been awarded to Tuath Housing who are an Approved Housing Body.  After some delays Tuath have now gone out to tender to engage a contractor to carry out the development and we are awaiting an update on this tender process.

 

Rehills Lands, Lower Dargle Rd



The design stage of the scheme is ongoing with the Department. It will comprise of a mixture of social and affordable homes.  I spoke at length when this development came up for discussion in the Council Chamber and for the need for some homes of this site to be available for affordable purchase.  Along with my fellow Councillors we were able to succeed in getting this agreed.  It is a complex site and part of a larger bundle of sites being managed together by Dublin City Council but when developed it will be the first batch of affordable purchase homes in the town.


Kilbride Lodge and Sutton Villas.



It is planned to provide 18 apartments at Kilbride Lodge and 3 apartments at Sutton Villas.  Both sites were awarded together as one bundle to Respond Housing, an Approved Housing Body. 


Tenders are currently being prepared.  These homes will be allocated to individuals and families from the Councils Housing list who will become tenants of Respond Housing.



As the above and other sites develop or if new sites are ear marked I will endeavour to try and keep you informed.  Please keep an eye on my website and social media platforms for updates and look at past posts for information on bigger developments such as the new planning permission submitted for the old Dell Site, Boghall Road and the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) which crosses over Wicklow Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council lands in Little Bray (New Schools Rd area) and at the Fassaroe lands.


In the interim if I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Kindest Regards

 

Aoife

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