Temple Bar residents block plans for student accommodation block

Bord Pleanála refuses planning permission on four-storey Exchange Street development

Temple Bar residents have succeeded in blocking plans for four-storey student accommodation units in Temple Bar.

The ruling by An Bord Pleanála upholds an earlier decision by Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission to Ningaloo Dublin Properties Ltd for the development on Exchange Street.

The mixed use development for the vacant site included three student accommodation units, a roof-top garden terrace, a ground-floor cafe and underground storage.

However, in a hard-hitting objection against the plan lodged with Dublin City Council, Frank McDonald, on behalf of the Temple Bar Residents group, claimed the development "is entirely inappropriate for Temple Bar – an area that's already been plagued by the illegal conversion of residential apartments into commercial short-term lets".


Holiday lets

Mr McDonald, a former journalist with The Irish Times, argued that given the length of the academic year, it is inevitable that the upper floors would be made available as holiday lets during the summer.

He also argued that “it is likely that the terrace would be used as a party venue, with loud music that could not be contained”.

Consultants for the applicants, Brock McClure, argued that the proposed development would result in a significant planning gain through providing much needed student accommodation.

Brock McClure also contended that the proposal would have a positive impact on the wider generation of the West Temple area.

In its ruling the appeals board didn’t refuse planning permission over the impact it may have on current residents living in Temple Bar but on the impact it will have on the future occupants of the apartments.

In its formal order and leaving the door open for revised plans to be lodged, the appeals board refused planning permission after ruling that the planned student accommodation units would lack suitable facilities, including adequate storage facilities, and would therefore constitute a sub-standard form of development which would seriously injure the residential amenities of the future occupants.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times