Final planning permission has been granted for a 246-bed hostel on Cork’s Grand Parade.
An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to UK firm Westhill, through an Irish subsidiary Bluescape Limited, to redevelop the former tourist office at 40-42 Grand Parade.
The six-storey development, called Tourist House, will provide 246 hostel bed spaces in 48 rooms and will also include a ground floor bar and a rooftop terrace.
Cork City Council had already granted permission for the development with a condition that the top floor be omitted. This was despite a number of objections to the proposal.
Casey’s Furniture store said it welcomed the redevelopment of the site as a hostel but said it had serious concerns about the proposed ground-floor bar.
It said there are nine bars within 200m of the site and if the hostel bar was to proceed, it would result in a “serious over-predominance of bars within an area close to the primary retail area of the city”.
Another landowner said the height of the planned hostel would “obliterate” light to neighbouring properties.
However, planners in Cork City Council granted permission for the development in January.
This decision was then appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a number of the objectors and Bluescape Limited themselves who wanted to retain the sixth floor arguing that the building would be the same height as the adjacent multistorey car park and the nearby Capitol development.
Assessing the appeal, the Bord Pleanála inspector agreed that the sixth storey could be retained.
The planning board agreed to uphold the decision of Cork City Council and granted permission saying the development would be in accordance with the zoning, would be acceptable in terms of density and height and "would not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area."