Residents in the Farranlea Road area of Cork City have challenged a decision of Cork City Council to grant planning permission for a large-scale, student accommodation complex on the grounds of a former warehouse.
The Farranlea District Residents’ Association have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála, against the local authority’s approval of the demolition of Gillan House and the construction of a four-storey residence. The latter would provide accommodation for 145 students, in 18 multi-bed apartments and 20 studios.
The development, by Summix FRC Developments, originally proposed 161 beds in a three-storey building. However, a fourth storey was added, despite suggestions by council planners that the development should be limited to two storeys.
In its appeal, the Farranlea District Residents’ Association said that a similar development, for a 118-bed student residence in the same location, had been refused planning permission in the past. Chairperson of the association, Bernard Murphy, said the latest, proposed development is embedded in an area with a very definite period and design.
“The proposal is out-of-character with the established pattern of development in the area,” Mr Murphy said. He claims the boundary of the student complex would adjoin the back gardens of 17 homes.
The association has also argued that the scale and density of the development is inappropriate, and contrary to the Cork City Development Plan, which sets out guidelines for the suitable location of major developments.
Mr Murphy said the student residence would also cause problems with overshadowing of neighbouring properties, as well as traffic issues.
Approving a four-storey development would also set an “unnecessary and unwelcome precedent” for the area, he added.
Mr Murphy branded the proposed complex as “overbearing and visually invasive.”
Subject to 37 conditions, council planners said the project would result in a significant, student-accommodation residential development, which would further the objectives of the Cork City Development Plan and the Government’s housing plan, Rebuilding Ireland, by striking “an acceptable balance” between development and the impact on the surrounding residences.
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