Student accommodation schemes for Cork and Limerick get green light

Developers have secured the go-ahead for 561 student bed spaces in two separate developments in the Munster cities

A student’s desk for studying. Separate developments in Cork and Limerick have secured the go-ahead for 561 student bed spaces. Photograph: iStock

A student’s desk for studying. Separate developments in Cork and Limerick have secured the go-ahead for 561 student bed spaces. Photograph: iStock

 

Developers have secured the go-ahead for 561 student bed spaces in two separate developments in Cork and Limerick cities.

In granting fast track planning in two separate cases on Monday, An Bord Pleanála has cleared the way for the construction by Cloncaragh Investments Ltd of 318 student bed spaces and 30 build-to-rent apartments containing an additional 104 bed spaces at Punches Cross in Limerick.

The board has also given the go-ahead to plans to Bellmount Developments Ltd for 243 student bed spaces at Kelleher Auto Centre at Victoria Cross, Bishopstown outside Cork city. That development ranges from five to 10 storeys in height.

The Limerick scheme - located 1.5 km to the west of the city centre - reaching to seven storeys in height - faced a higher level of opposition locally with one submission by Environmental Trust Ireland supported by 103 signatures in an accompanying petition.

Objections

Objectors claimed that there are three other purpose-built student accommodation schemes in Limerick that are no longer used for such a purpose, and expressed concern that the same would happen here. 

The objectors also claimed that the scheme has excessive height and will lead to a poor quality of residential amenity for existing and future residents. Planning was previously refused in 2019 for a 326-bed student scheme, along with 70 apartments and 30 build-to-rent apartments at the site.

The inspector in the case, Daire McDevitt, concluded that there is a need for student accommodation in Limerick, noting a report submitted stating that there was an estimated shortfall of 2,169 bed spaces in Limerick in 2019.

The inspector also found that the quantum and density of development was appropriate.

In respect of the Bishopstown accommodation, the board received five third party submissions.

The small number of objectors claimed that the scheme represented overdevelopment of the site and that there was already an over-supply of student accommodation for Cork city. 

Cork City Council recommended that permission be granted for the scheme.

The inspector in the case, Colin McBride recommended that permission be granted after concluding that the proposal will provide a quality development.

Mr McBride also stated that he was satisfied that the proposal would not impact on the visual or residential amenities of the area to such an extent as to warrant a refusal of permission.

He stated that the scheme would add to the visual amenity of the area and enhance the streetscape at the location.