Application to increase size of Lough student apartments

Application to increase size of Lough student apartments
Artist impression of Bandon Road purpose-built student accommodation overlooking The Lough.

The developer behind plans to build student apartments overlooking the Lough in Cork city has applied to An Bord Pleanála to further increase the size of the development.

Lyonshall has purchased additional land adjacent to the site it had earmarked for the development and is now seeking permission to increase the complex from 419 student beds to 554.

The new development, if approved, will include 77 apartments in total, as well as space for a retail unit or cafe on the ground floor. Some 72 of the apartments will be 4+ beds.

It represents the third increase in size for the proposal. In Aug 2018, Lyonshall were given permission by Cork City Council to build 49 apartments with a total of 350 beds. In Jan 2019, An Bord Pleanála approved an increase to 57 apartments and 419 beds.

The development site is located near the junction of Glasheen Road and Bandon Road on a portion of land attached to the Church of Immaculate Conception and would be partially visible from the nearby Lough amenity walk.

The new proposal will incorporate additional lands that were not part of the previous plan.

Since receiving planning in Jan 2019, the developer has acquired number 74 Bandon Rd, and numbers 1 and 2 Ardnacarrig, Bandon Rd, which will serve to enlarge the footprint of the development and increase the frontage on Bandon Rd.

The developers have previously said this will allow a "more positive" contribution to the area.

The new development will see the demolition of a former butcher shop on Bandon Road, as well as two houses in Ardnacarrig.

The new proposal represents an increase from four to five blocks, with buildings ranging in height from one to six stories.

The current approved plan is for four blocks of three to four storeys.

It also includes upgrades to the Magazine Rd and Bandon Rd junction, as well as traffic calming measures and new bus infrastructure, as well as an archway which would connect Bandon Rd to the Lough and would be open for use at all times.

Developers have also drawn up a new student management plan, including 24/7 on-site management to deal with anti-social behaviour, as well as the day-to-day running of the facility on matters like waste and transport, while vacant rooms are planned to made available for tourist accommodation in July and August.

The proposed scheme at Bandon Rd is intended to come on stream for the 2021/ 2022 academic year.

Developers say the new designs represent a "more efficient and enhanced scheme that will produce a marked improvement to the urban landscape along this section of Bandon Road."

The National Student Accommodation Strategy 2017 estimates a need for almost 7,500 purpose-built student beds in Cork city by 2024.

In its application, developers said the demand for purpose-built student accommodation in Cork city exceeded supply by more than 2,100 units, and that the development "will go further towards addressing the identified shortfall".

They said that in the "best-case scenario" where all current permissions for purpose-built student accommodation are built by 2024, there will still be a shortfall of almost 600 beds in comparison to the targets outlined in the National Student Accommodation Strategy.

Since the publication of this strategy, there has been a flurry of new projects proposed and at various stages of development.

Further plans are in the works, too, with a €25m proposal for North Main Street including some 280 beds announced by developers Bmor this week.

The development is set for a mixed-use site which has been vacant since 2008. 

Other student accommodation in Cork

These are in addition to the plans at the Lough, a new €25m proposal for North Main Street including some 280 beds, and several smaller developments throughout the city.

  • Former Crow's Nest, Victoria Cross - 255 beds (on site) 
  • Former O'Mahony Packaging, Melbourne Road - 348 beds (on site) 
  • Gillian House, Farranlea Road - 161 beds (on site) 
  • Brewery Quarter, South Main Street - 417 beds (on site) 
  • Kelleher's Tyres, Victoria Cross - 154 beds 
  • Former Square Deal building, Washington Street - 242 beds 
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, Carrigrohane Road - 623 beds.

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