Board approves demolition of Cork's Kino cinema for student accommodation facility

The proposed €4m five-storey development will also include an art house on the ground floor consisting of a cinema and performing arts space as well as a café/bar.
Board approves demolition of Cork's Kino cinema for student accommodation facility

The student accommodation, which consists of 17 bedspaces, cannot be used for tourist accommodation during non-term periods unless the developer, Philip O’Connor, secures separate planning permission. File picture: Eddie O'Hare

The demolition of the former Kino cinema on Cork’s Washington Street is set to go ahead after An Bord Pleanála approved plans for a large student accommodation scheme on the site.

However, the proposed €4m five-storey development will also include an art house on the ground floor consisting of a cinema and performing arts space as well as a café/bar.

The board rejected an appeal by a neighbouring property owner who sought to overturn the decision of Cork City Council to grant planning permission for the development.

Subject to compliance with a number of planning conditions and some minor modifications, it concluded that the plans for the student accommodation building were an acceptable form of development for the location and would not seriously injure the amenities of the area.

The student accommodation, which consists of 17 bedspaces, cannot be used for tourist accommodation during non-term periods unless the developer, Philip O’Connor, secures separate planning permission.

The appellant, Tim McCarthy, who owns an adjoining property on Washington Street has expressed concern that the new development would result in a loss of privacy from its overlooking nearby properties as well as about the possibility of anti-social behaviour from the inclusion of a roof garden in the plans.

Mr McCarthy claimed the inclusion of a roof garden in the plans was “highly irresponsible”.

However, he stressed that he had no objection to the principle of the development providing his concerns were addressed.

The board imposed a condition that access to the roof terrace should be restricted between 10pm and 8am.

An inspector with An Bord Pleanála said the area was in transition with another large student accommodation development on the Square Deal site on Washington Street, while the redevelopment of a disused site with a mixed cultural and residential use was to be welcomed.

The Kino, which had a seating capacity for almost 200 people, opened in 1996 as an arthouse cinema on the site of the former Pot Black snooker hall and was a central location for films screened during the annual Cork Film Festival until its closure in 2009.

However, promoting duo the Good Room, who had hoped to run the Kino as a venue until at least the end of the summer of 2021, recently decided to leave the Washington Street premises.

They put their decision down to a combination of Covid pressures and the impending redevelopment of the building.

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