Student accommodation plan for Baker’s Corner opposed

Proposed development would see 276 student units built and existing pub demolished

Plans for a 276-unit student accommodation development in Dún Laoghaire are facing opposition from residents, a nursing home and An Taisce.

Earlier this year Baker Forge Properties lodged fast-track plans with An Bord Pleanála for a six-storey development at Baker's Corner.

The scheme – which has the formal support of the nearby Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) – involves the demolition of the existing Baker’s Corner pub, the construction of a replacement pub and two commercial units and the 276-student accommodation units.

Brock McClure, the planning consultancy for the applicants, said that the planning application “had been prepared in the context of the significant need for student accommodation in Dublin city and Ireland”.

Site

The Brock McClure submission stated that the site was a prime under-utilised suburban site located proximate to key public transport nodes and is therefore optimally located to provide for a higher residential density and additional height in compliance with the national policy mandate.

In his objection to the plan local TD Richard Boyd Barrett told the appeals board that residents would be heavily affected "by the inappropriate height of the development".

“While IADT are in need of student accommodation, we fear this accommodation will be too expensive for most to afford and therefore not fit for purpose.”

Planning consultants Avison Young also lodged an objection on behalf of the Baker's Corner Community Group which is comprised of 60 locals.

The objection said that the proposed development would “have a severely negative impact on the existing residential amenity in the vicinity of the site, in terms of excessive height, scale, massing, impact on sunlight/daylight, noise and traffic”.

Plan

In its objection to the plan, on behalf of the nearby Ashbury nursing home, Marston planning consultants said that the proposed development would “result in a serious loss of residential and visual amenity to the residents of the nursing home”.

An Taisce said that the height of the building would be “a flight hazard” for wildlife.

In the IADT letter formally supporting the scheme, the institute's financial controller, Bernard Mullarkey, said that the current accommodation demand from its student population was 1,000-2,200 rooms per year.

“Due to the lack of significant existing accommodation in proximity to our campus, the only available options to our students are private rented accommodation or to stay living at home,” he said.

* This article was amended on November 4th, 2021 because the wrong firm was identified as the planning consultancy for the applicants in the piece as originally published.