Construction Information Services




Residential schemes accounted for over 60% of all plans granted in 2021

PAT MACGRATH, Head of Research & Product Development of Construction Information Services (CIS), reports on planning activity for 2021 and early 2022.


Following the height of the pandemic, construction was slow to recover, with the pandemic posing a significant concern to industries throughout the lockdowns and the halting of works.

Construction Information Services

According to the data, both volume and value building construction output in 2020 were down year over year – by 5.2% and 4%, respectively – marking the first annual fall in final output since 2012. With this, the construction industry entered 2021 under immediate pressure and uncertainty faced with strict lockdown procedures brought in to combat Covid-19.

Covid-19 recovery

The first quarter of 2021 reflected the magnitude of setbacks in the construction industry as output fell 27.3% from a year earlier, following a downwardly corrected 6.0% drop in the previous three-month period.

The residential sector was the hardest hit, with activity dropping 60.9%, followed by considerable drops of 19.5% in non-residential and 33.6% in civil engineering activity. Construction output fell by 21.0% on a quarterly basis, dropping from a 5.2% increase in the fourth quarter (CSO).

In the third quarter of 2021, Ireland’s construction output fell 1.4% year on year, following an upwardly revised 28.4% increase in the preceding three months. Construction activity has also remained modest compared to pre-pandemic levels. Non-residential construction fell 6.5% compared to 23.7% in Q2, while residential construction rose 7.7% and civil engineering works rose 20.6%. Construction output increased by 7.5% on a quarterly basis, following a 9.9% increase the previous quarter.

Construction Information Services Top 20 Projects By Value (Shell & Core) 2021

1€625m - Mixed Use DevelopmentSouthwest Gate Site to the east of Walkinstown Avenue at the junction of Walkinstown Avenue and Naas RoadCo Dublin€625,000,000 Plans Granted
2€600m - N6 Galway City Outer Bypass SchemeN6 Galway City Outer Bypass Scheme West Section (N59 to R336)Co Galway€600,000,000 Plans Granted
3€500m - Greenlink Interconnector ProjectGreat Island, County Wexford, Pembroke, Wales, United Kingdom (Great Island, Kilmannock, Dunbrody, Saltmills, Grange, Kilhile, Rosetown, Coleman, Ramsgrange, Kilbride, Ballinruan, Aldridge, Booley, Broomhill, Lambstown, Lewistown, Kilcloggan, Templetown, Graigue Little, Graigue Great & Ramstown)Co Wexford€500,000,000 On Site
4€400m - Residential DevelopmentFormer O’Devaney Gardens Site and lands previously part of St. Bricin’s Military Hospital Dublin 7Co Dublin€400,000,000 Plans Granted
5€320m - Urban Regeneration ProjectAugustine Hill Lands to the rear of Ceannt Train Station Station Road Galway CityCo Galway€320,000,000 Plans Granted
6€250m - Build to Rent Apartment DevelopmentHoly Cross College Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3 and Drumcondra Road Lower, Drumcondra Dublin 9Co. Dublin€250,863,900 Plans Granted
7€250m - Residential DevelopmentCorballis East DonabateCo Dublin€250,000,000 Plans Submitted
8€23.1m - Apartment Development52, 54, 56, 58 Station Road Raheny, Dublin 5Co Dublin€231,000,000 Plans Granted
9€220m - Apartment DevelopmentThe South Docks, The Former Ford Distribution Site Fronting on to Centre Park Road Marquee Road and Monahan’s Road, CorkCo Cork€220,000,000 Plans Granted
10€200m - Vartry Water Treatment PlantVartry Water Treatment Site, Vartry, RoundwoodCo Wicklow€200,000,000 Completed
11€170m - Residential DevelopmentLands at Baldoyle and Stapolin adjacent Lands, formerly known as the Coast, Baldoyle, Dublin 13Co Dublin€169,430,800 Plans Granted
12€154m - Build-to-Rent ResidentialCastleforbes SHD Lands at Castleforbes Business Park Sheriff Street Upper and East Road, DublinCo Dublin€154,000,000 Plans Granted
13€152m - Biopharmaceutical CampusMullagharlin Haynestown Townlands, DundalkCo Louth€152,000,000 Completed
14Mixed DevelopmentTownland of Greyabbey, South of Kildare TownCo Kildare€150,000,000 Completed
1515 €150m - N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin Road DevelopmentN4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin & N17 Collooney to Tubbercurry Co. SligoCo Sligo€150,000,000 Completed
16€150m - Google Data CentreTownlands of Aungierstown & Ballybane, to the west of the existing facility in Newcastle Clondalkin Dublin 22Co Dublin€150,000,000 Completed
17€150m - Residential DevelopmentTownland of Cork Little and Shanganagh Woodbrook ShankillCo Dublin€150,000,000 On Site
18€148m - Residential DevelopmentPark West Avenue and Park West Road Park West Dublin 12Co Dublin€148,157,310 Plans Submitted
19€147m - Mixed Use DevelopmentGalway City North Business Park, Parkmore and Castlegar, Tuam Road, Galway CityCo Galway€147,831,422 Plans Granted
20€143m - Two Data CentresLands adjacent to Huntstown Power Station, North Road, Finglas, Dublin 11Co Dublin€143,972,500 Plans Granted

Planning activity

Overall, the value of planning activity in 2021 (plans submitted and plans granted) grew by 12% from 2020 to €38.5bn. This was a significant rise given that there had been a 3.7% fall in such activity in 2020. The biggest driver in these figures was the residential sector, which represented 63% of all planning activity and grew by 13.7% in 2021.

Other significant movements in pipeline activity were a 22% fall in hospitality and a 21% fall in commercial activity.

The industrial sector, which includes warehousing and data centres, rose by 24%, reflecting lifestyle changes exacerbated by the pandemic.

Construction Information Services Most Viewed Projects 2021

ProjectCountySectorCurrent Stage
1€500m - Town Centre DevelopmentCo DublinResidentialOn Site
2€119m - Data Centres DevelopmentCo DublinIndustrialOn Site
3€50m - Operations Depot DevelopmentCo DublinCommercial & RetailOn Site
4€110m - Apollo House RedevelopmentCo DublinCommercial & RetailOn Site
5€141m - Office DevelopmentCo DublinCommercial & RetailOn Site
6€129m - Build to Rent Apartments/Build to Sell ApartmentsCo DublinResidentialOn Site
7€76m - Mixed Use DevelopmentCo DublinCommercial & RetailOn Site
8€92m - Town Centre DevelopmentCo DublinResidentialOn Site
9€90m - Build-to-Rent ApartmentsCo DublinResidentialOn Site
10€81.4m - Residential Development Co KildareResidentialOn Site

Looking forward

Data from Q1 2022 demonstrates the construction industry’s sustained resilience in the face of several distinct problems, including rising material costs, supply disruption, Brexit, the pandemic and rising fuel costs, and, latterly, the effects of the war in Ukraine.

Across the island, new project starts totalled slightly over €3bn for the quarter, the third-largest quarterly value in the past three years, after only Q2 2021 (€4,4bn) and Q3 2021 (€3.2bn), and up from a three-year quarterly average of €2.3bn.

Of course, there were differences across sectors. For the third straight quarter, new residential construction declined to €979m (excluding new phases of existing developments). Non-residential starts increased by 27% in Q1 to €1.2bn, exceeding the three-year quarterly average. Indeed, the only industries where new beginnings fell below the previous three-year average were medical, retail, and hospitality.

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