Plans for 56 build-to-rent student houses on the main street in Ringaskiddy have been rejected because it would “seriously injure the residential amenities of the area”, An Bord Pleanála has said.
Local objectors to the proposals, which would have included 28 five-to-seven bed student houses, said the “nightlife requirements of students are not available in Ringaskiddy” and raised concerns about anti-social behaviour that could arise in the future.
Further objectors said the proposals for buildings of six storeys would be “entirely out of character with the existing development in the area” while An Bord Pleanála said it believed the development could create an “unacceptable traffic hazard”.
The Community and College Housing Partnership first made a submission for 'outline permission' to Cork County Council in October 2021.
Outline permission is where an applicant asks the local authority to agree in principle with a development. The council refused this application in December.
In its appeal to An Bord Pleanála, planners again sought outline permission for the development and provided a list of reasons why it should be granted.
It also said the build-to-rent accommodation would comply with all housing and apartment standards, that existing public transport services would be sufficient to serve the scheme, and that the location of pharmaceutical companies and the Irish Naval Service in the area created the need for accommodation locally.
In submissions made on the application, the National Maritime College of Ireland said that while purpose-built accommodation would benefit both students and the college, it “cannot provide any guarantees in relation to the level of take-up of the proposed accommodation by its students”.
The An Bord Pleanála inspector added: “However, they would be confident that there would be significant demand for them.”
The Ringaskiddy Residents Group said the development could have an impact on the existing built heritage of Ringaskiddy village from construction traffic, machinery and the development of the site.
The inspector said: “It is submitted that the Merchant Navy student population accommodation needs have always gravitated towards the large urban centres of Carrigaline, Douglas, Rochestown and the City.
“Ringaskiddy is served by one pub and one coffee shop/restaurant which closes at 6pm. The nearest village shop is located in Shanbally village."
The inspector recommended the outline permission be denied, and permission was refused last week.