Firm denied bid to add to Cork student apartment block

Cork City Council has turned down plans to add 40 bedrooms to a student accommodation development already under construction at a city centre former brewery site.

BAM Property began work in November at the old Beamish & Crawford site on South Main St to build more than 400 student bed spaces. 

The firm has yet to begin construction on two other parts of the site as planning issues have yet to be decided on the city’s long-delayed events centre.

In the application to the council in February, permission was sought to add one floor to the already-permitted seven-storey building, and two floors to part of a six-floor element of one of the student accommodation blocks, increasing the total bed spaces by 40 to 453.

However, planners said these additions would make the development visually overbearing relative to existing properties on adjoining sites.

It was also stated that the proposed changes would lead to negative impact on local views and interfere with strategic views of special value outlined in the Cork City development plan.

Some elements of the application were successful, however, meaning BAM now has permission to add two bedrooms at mezzanine level of one of the blocks and for some other relatively minor changes to reduce the basement floor area and other amendments to the permitted scheme.

It is unclear yet if BAM intends to appeal the substantive decision to refuse permission for the increased heights to the project. The company has previously indicated it intends to have the student accommodation ready to let to students by September of next year.

In April, Cork City Council gave permission for amendments to the plans for the middle section of the Beamish site, replacing a planned cinema and some other aspects with office space. This was intended by BAM to compensate for the loss of offices originally planned at the northern zone where the student apartments are now being built.

BAM said last month that it will submit a new application to increase the footprint of the planned events centre at the portion of the site nearest the riverside quays. This is to facilitate staging of larger events when the centre is operational.

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