Downing Street

23 Jul 2019

Glenveagh Properties: planning success at Blackrock Villas development

Glenveagh has received planning permission to construct 274 apartments at its Blackrock Villas development, the site of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, approximately 5km from Cork city centre.

Glenveagh acquired the site from a receiver for a reported €9m in Q418 when it had planning permission for 141 units, so this approval represents a sizeable unit increase on the original plans and reduces the cost per unit at the site from c.€64k to c.€33k. The new units will comprise a mix of studio, one, two and three-bed units. Glenveagh has made significant land investments in Cork and, in addition to this scheme, has plans for 1,000 units at Cork Docklands, 500 units at Maryborough Ridge in Douglas and more than 300 units in Midleton.

This is welcome news for the group and illustrates the potential gains that can be made through the planning system. 

Johnson to declare victory

The Conservative Party is due to announce the results of its leadership election later this morning (11.30 approx). Of course Boris Johnson remains the runaway favourite (over Jeremy Hunt) and he is set to be invited to become Prime Minister by the Queen tomorrow, after Theresa May takes her last PMQs tomorrow and formally visits the Queen to stand down, at which time either Mr Johnson or Mr. Hunt will be invited to become PM. 

Without doubt, it should be a very interesting first 100 days for the new British PM of which 39 days will be spent in parliamentary recess. As to whether Mr. Johnson should soften his Brexit approach once he gets the top job is another story altogether and one which we will try to address in our ‘Thought of the day’ piece below.

US debt crisis averted

The dollar took another jump higher overnight after it was announced that lengthy negotiations between Congress and the White House had reached a bipartisan deal to suspend the encroaching US debt ceiling, raising spending by approximately $320 billion over the next two years. The White House reported that “if (the deal is) passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, the deal would stop a potential debt default this fall and avoid automatic spending cuts next year. The agreement would also bring clarity about government spending over the rest of Mr. Trump’s term, though Congress must still fill in the details, program by program.”


Will Boris change his spots?

With the Conservative leadership contest about to draw to a close, the next step in the Brexit debacle will soon be upon us. 

Since the field was narrowed down to two candidates, Jeremy Hunt has spent much of the last 4 weeks trying to match Johnson’s promises to leave the UK on 31 October to woo conservative party voters who are keen to see Brexit implemented. Johnson on the other-hand, confident that he has the support of the hard Brexiteers in the party has swung from the most aggressive pledges to “prorogue parliament” to force through a deal, to describing no-deal talk as a necessary negotiation tactic and nothing further.   


While we strongly expect Boris to win the leadership today, we don’t know which Boris will show up to No. 10 to take-over from Theresa May. While markets seem to believe that we are closer to a no-deal Brexit than ever before, Boris has a strong track record of catching supposed allies off-guard before (just ask David Cameron and Theresa May). Certainly, it wouldn’t be beyond Boris to change tack completely and adopt a far more conciliatory approach to Europe in a new round of negotiations. 

However, recent signs in parliament suggest that some of his Conservative party colleagues who have worked closest with him over the past few years don’t hold the same hope. The number of senior ministers and cabinet members who have announced that they would resign rather than help Boris achieve a no-deal Brexit is growing. Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe resigned yesterday, while Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and David Gauke announced that they would resign if Boris wins the leadership contest. One time leadership rival Rory Stewart also clarified that he also would not serve under Boris.   


Our central expectation remains that some form of a deal will be reached before 31 October. This would require a significant shift from Boris Johnson’s current stance, but we are concerned that the actions of his colleagues suggest they feel he is committed to his current course.  

Economic Releases

11.00  UK   Results of Conservative leadership contest announced

13.15  UK   BoE’s Andy Haldane speaking