An Bord Pleanála has overruled its own inspector and granted planning permission for a development of a student apartment complex in Victoria Cross in Cork city.
The development will see more than 130 student beds built on the former Kelleher's Tyres site, minutes from UCC's main campus.
Developer, Kevin Lynch, had previously been given planning for 114 student beds in 18 apartments in a five storey building.
He sought to increase this to eight storeys to allow for 25 apartments and some 154 beds, and was granted conditional planning permission in February on the basis he omit two floors, reducing it to 21 apartments and 136 beds.
The developer appealed on the basis that the design — eight storeys, two of which would be set back — is justified in the context of national planning guidelines.
A third party appeal was also lodged, describing it as "vexing" that highrise student accommodation was not being built on UCC's own campus, where there is "a large amount of idle green space", and that the scheme would erode the privacy of residents in the area.
An Bord Pleanála's inspector recommended the plan be refused permission due to its height and the potential for adverse impacts on the amenities of nearby homes.
However, An Bord Pleanála did not accept this and has, instead, approved the development, provided the developer omit two floors as initially outlined by Cork City Council.
The board agreed that if these set-back floors were removed, the development "would not seriously injure the visual or residential amenities of adjoining properties".
The development is one of a number of student apartment complexes planned for the area.
Nearby, UCC is building a 255-bed complex on the site of the former Crow's Nest bar, while plans are also in the works for a 623-bed complex on the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant on the Carrigrohane Road.
Some 348 beds are under construction on Melbourne Road and a further 145 are in the works on Farranlea Road.
Plans have been granted for developments near the Lough, on Magazine Road and the former Square Deal site on Washington Street, though developers are currently applying to increase the size of the latter.
In total, some 830 student beds have been built in the city since 2016, and 748 are currently under construction.
As many as 1,600 more could be built under existing planning permissions, while an application for a further 280 has been lodged for North Main Street, and several other schemes are in consultation with planning authorities too.