Here at Social Housing Co. we can assist you with each and every aspect of a potential social housing development. We can help you with the initial phase of identifying potential development sites through to the planning process and initial undertaking the final development. We offer a complete service that meets all of your Social Housing Development needs. Contact us with any queries you may have and we will create a tailor-made solution to ensure your development runs smoothly from the beginning to the final handover.

Scheme Map

The preparation process of a series of legal maps to be lodged and approved by the land registration authority. This sets out the:

  • Overall site boundaries.
  • Sub division Boundaries.
  • All rights of access and easements for services

It is strongly advised to undergo this process and seek the land registration authority approval prior to commencement of building works on site. Once the land registry approves the scheme map, the setting out of the development in accordance with the scheme map begins. This part of the process is designed so that the individual properties within the overall development can be sold off at any stage during the process as all the boundaries, rights of access and waylays are legally identified and approved. This means the remainder of the development would be unaffected by the sale. The scheme map stage of the project is arduous but it sets out the legal framework for all the parties to work within.

A cert of identity is required at the end of the process to validate it. Particular attention needs to be given to apartment style developments during the scheme map creation process as it is advisable to incorporate public services and easements ownership on the scheme map. The ESB requires ownership of any land which a substation is located on and easements on underground electrical supply lines. Irish water also requires easements over all public areas in a development and it will only approve a connection once these easements have been recognised. Through the correct management of the scheme map process at the pre-construction stage we can help you avoid any costly time delays to the project. This also enables the legal process to be made much more efficient and ensures your payments are released without delays.

Declaration of Identity

On completion of the works and the sale of a property within the development, A declaration of identity will be required to accompany the legal pack. This is a legal document produced by your design team which certifies all works boundaries and properties rights were executed in accordance with the scheme map. This gives assurances of the executed appropriate boundaries, accesses and services are in full compliance with the land registry approved scheme map. This means the individual units can be effectively extracted from the scheme map.

Feasibility Study

The first part of a feasibility study for a social housing development is site selection. The main idea behind this is identifying the quality of the proposed site. This involves examining the suitability with regard to:

  • Zoned for housing
  • Access to essential public services such as ESB, Irish Water, Wate Treatment Facilities
  • The slope of the ground
  • Not in a flood zone
  • Separation from existing properties
  • Safe access to the site from a public road
  • Local waste treatment capacity to cater for additional loading proposed.
  • Pre-Connection Enquiry. Preliminary Irish water connection agreement

Any local Authority or Approved Housing Association will also consider the location of a proposed development relative to important public services such as public transport, schools, banks, shops etc.

The next stage of the feasibility study should establish the need and benefit of the development. This stage includes but is not limited to:

  • Demand in locality for social housing units.
  • Value of recently sold social housing association units. This is important so that you can identify the type of development you are going to propose.
  • Existing social housing capacity in the locality compared to the existing private housing developments as it is important to the local authorities that there is an equal spread.
  • Local Authority support. Any social housing development requires the support of the local authority.
  • Type of unit demands. Each Local Authority requires different sized units which is identified through examination of the housing list. The amount of one, two, three, or four bedroom units on your development proposal can be identified on this.
  • Demonstrate the long-term viability of the project.
  • Preplanning consultation.
  • Identification of risks involved.
  • Availability of finance to support the project.
  • Financial Viability of the Social Housing Development. This involves the identification of the cost per unit of your proposed development which must then be compared to the previously identified cost of previous units sold in the locality.

The feasibility study is a vital part of any development as it allows you to identify the financial viability, benefits and likelihood of acceptance of any Social Housing Development before any major costs are sunk into the project. We can use our years of experience conducting feasibility studies to identify whether this project makes sense both for you and the Local Authority or Approved Housing Association.

Design Drawing

The design of a social housing development is crucial as it has a direct impact on both the overall planning viability and the likelihood of acceptance by a social housing association. That is why choosing SOCIAL HOUSING CO. can save you both time and money as we have vast experience in designing social housing developments so we can easily identify what the Housing Association will want while also creating an acceptable design to the local planner.

Cost efficiency is the most vital aspect of a social housing development design. Each and every stage of the design process must focus on maximising your return while ensuring that the project is acceptable to the standards set out in the building regulations, requirements of the housing bodies and government. To do this it is important to ensure:

  • Design that allows the maximum amount of units possible within the site.
  • Designed to make the best use of the land, while meeting all requirements.
  • Using the minimum amount of roads.
  • Sufficient green areas must be provided.
  • Basic costing measures included.

Excellent presentation of your design proposal is of vital importance as it will help sell the development to the local Authorities and Housing Associations. To do this we recommend 3D visualization and montages as it will enable the viewer to really see what the end product will look like and allow them to fully appreciate the design and its features. We have the in-house expertise necessary to construct this visualization.

Once you have completed your preliminary design proposal and you consult the local planning authorities. The design must then be revised so that it meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Go for planning

Once you lodge a planning application it is important that the application is managed through the assessment process. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process.  An inexperienced design team can make simple mistakes leasing to an increase in both the time spent and cost of the planning application process. Firstly, it is important to decide what type of planning you are applying for.

  • Permission: Often referred to as full permission, and is the most common type of application.
  • Outline permission: An application to build on a particular site, before you start drawing up detailed development plans, which can save you a lot of trouble and expense in the long run.
  • Permission consequent to outline permission: Occurs when outline permission is granted by the local authority.

Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we have the skills and experience required to manage the process for you and we can ensure the process is completed promptly. Important tips for a successful planning application:

  • Use the pre-application advice system
  • Be familiar with local policy
  • Understand the role precedent plays in planning applications
  • Provide sufficient information: Most planning departments will not accept an application if they feel insufficient information has been included so ensure you have provided sufficient information.

Once you receive the final notification of planning permission it is normal to have planning conditions that will need to be satisfied. These are clarifications or revisions that the planning authority has specified within the decision. They must be fully satisfied to move on. This often includes adaptations to your overall design. Once this process is complete your next step will be negotiating the sale to a Developer or Housing Association.

Advancing the proposal to building the development

Once your design proposal has been finalised and you have been granted planning permission your next step is to identify who you are going to sell the social housing development too. The first stage in this process is to decide which delivery method you are going to use. This delivery method can be:

  • Turnkey acquisition
  • Staged Payments

This stage also involves negotiation which we have experience in. To begin the negotiation process, you must develop a presentation document.

Presentation document to sell the product:

A presentation is used to sell the development to the local authorities and Housing Associations. This document has multiple important sections which are requested by the Local Authorities and Housing Associations to determine what is being proposed and who will be carrying out the works. Your Presentation Document should include:

  1. Housing proposal:  The proposed number of houses and their location.
  2. Proposer details: This section should include your details as well as previous works which are used to assess your capability to deliver the project. For example, previous developments you have completed, your turnover and the management structure of your company.
  3. Development Benefits: Display the need for the development based off of the housing list numbers. List the advantages of the proposed site, Such as proximity to public services and local amenities.
  4. Site layout: The proposed layout of the development.
  5. Comparable Developments: A comparison with similar developments and the costs associated.
  6. Project participants: Details of your chosen design team, the development funder and the chosen builder.
  7. Summary of the Development formats: Details such as how the proposed development will ??????? such as this can be challenging and time consuming. Our experience allows us to prepare documents of higher quality to ensure you and your development appear in the best light possible.

Information required to enter negotiations

When you are about to enter into negotiations with your chosen Local Authority or Housing Association it is important to have the following information:

  • Financial Information: The overall cost of development, profit margins available and Its overall financial viability.
  • Detailed working drawings and book of specifications: This can be a time-consuming procedure as it is important to identify the products selected and materials proposed so that the units are produced at best value.
  • Detailed list of every product and specification: It must be insured that every building material and design feature is fit for purpose and cost efficient.
  • Preliminary BER: This document forms part of the process to demonstrate compliance with the building regulations. This helps to accurately price the building drawings and Its ability to comply with granted planning permission and building regulations.
  • Established building program: This should include indictive stages and dates for the development, from start to completion.
  • Identify the complete cost of construction.

Once you have compiled all of the required additional information you can enter negotiations. It is important that all of this information is compiled and accurate as any missing information or incorrect details can delay this stage of the process. As part of our complete service we can compile all of this information for you.

*In apartments you will need disabled access and a fire safety cert before negotiations.


Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we will approach the different housing bodies and identify the procurement procedure and the final unit sale price. We can also negotiate the legal contract on your behalf. Our inhouse team have the experience required to ensure you get the best value.

The structure of the negotiation will depend on the type of delivery method you have selected.

Turn key: If you have chosen the Turn Key delivery method then the main part of the negotiation will be agreeing the final price. This method of delivery involves sourcing independent finance as you are paid upon completion. This can be on a phased basis so you receive some cash flow throughout the project. Local Authorities and Housing Associations are not involved during construction and there are no weekly inspections. Once you have completed the works you issue them a cert of compliance and your BCMS is approved by the local authority.

Staged Payment: If you chose the staged payment delivery method you are paid up front for land value once it is purchased. Following that you negotiate a constriction contract, and you receive staged payments throughout the building of the development. These payments are usually on a monthly basis. This is beneficial as you receive cashflow throughout the development. The payments are valued in line with the works completed on site. These works are assessed by a quantity surveyor and by a quantity surveyor employed by the Housing Association or Local Authority. The payment you receive is then negotiated, once it is agreed you receive your payment. This delivery method involves much more paperwork and an assessor to create a report of completed works each month before you negotiate the value of the works. We can ensure you receive the best price for your completed works.

Both projects delivery methods require similar approaches from your professional consultancy team so it is vitally important to ensure you have chosen capable professionals with proven track records. Your professional consultancy team encompasses architects, engineers and independent assessors. These are the main appointees for the project and they must be signed up to a 12-year collateral warranty. The Local Authorities and Housing Associations will not agree to any appointments without it. Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. our inhouse cater to all of these roles which leads to a more efficient development process ensuring each of your appointed team members are working in collaboration and we have plenty of experience in completing social housing developments so you are sure to get the best results.

If you have selected the Stage payments delivery method the Local Authorities and Housing Body will require a profile of each of the appointees that will prove their capability of delivering the social housing development. Appointing a less experienced team will affect their decision.

Contract negotiations and legal examination:

There are several different factors that will influence the value per unit the Local Authorities and Housing Associations will agree to pay for the development. The value of the contract can be influenced by:

  • Similar properties recently sold in area.
  • Rental levels in the locality.
  •  The developments location relevant to public services and amenities.

A correct packaging proposal and an experienced negotiating team will help you to achieve the best price possible for your development. We have the experience necessary to help you achieve this. The following is a list of key factors which will help determine the value of your development:

  • Price per unit.
  • Agreement on milestone payments, how much and when you are going to be paid.
  • Start date
  • End date
  • Liquidity damages: If your late your penalised for each week after the pre agreed completion date. We help negotiate how much this penalty will be. It usually ranges between €2000-€4000.
  • The defects liability/ insurance period
  • The indemnity and insurance of project participants
  • The performance bond percentages.
  • Responsibility of various project participants.
  • Variations Process: what happens if variations are requested.
  • Non-performance termination agreement.
  • Taxation.
  • Confidentiality and data processing agreement.
  • Dispute resolution procedures.