Ten-storey student apartment block planned for Cork's Victoria Cross

Planning sought for €31m development of 40 student apartments, ranging in size from single-bed studio apartments to eight-bed apartments, comprising 243 bed spaces
Ten-storey student apartment block planned for Cork's Victoria Cross

Artist’s impressions of proposed student residential development at Wilton Road, Victoria Cross, Cork. 

Three more blocks of student accommodation, ranging in height from five to 10 storeys, are in the pipeline for Victoria Cross in Cork city if planners endorse a €31m proposal from Bellmount Developments Ltd.

Permission to build the accommodation on a 0.22-hectare site on Wilton Road is being sought directly from An Bord Pleanála as the application is for more than 200 student bed spaces, which qualifies as a strategic housing development (SHD).

The application went into the board last Friday, with a decision due in 16 weeks.

If the project is rubber-stamped by planners, it will mean the construction of 40 student apartments, ranging in size from single-bed studio apartments to eight-bed apartments, comprising 243 bed spaces, on a site that has been home to Kellehers Auto Centre, which is to relocate. The nearby long-established Wylam Chinese Restaurant is not part of the development.

Owners of the auto centre, Séamus and Pádraig Kelleher, are behind Bellmount Developments, which last year got the go-ahead for a 137-bed student complex, stretching to six storeys, also in Victoria Cross, at a site that was formerly home to Kellehers Tyres, and is just beyond the site of the current proposal.

Between them, the two schemes will add 380 student beds to the area.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Séamus Kelleher said they were hoping to start work on the 137-bed complex at the end of the year. Mr Kelleher said they also have plans for a private rented sector/build-to-rent scheme in Cork City. 

“We would hope to launch it in June this year, it will be central enough,” he said.

100 jobs in construction

He said the latest Victoria Cross development, if given the go-ahead, is an estimated €31m development and will create 100 jobs in construction.

The development will be bounded to the rear by the River Lee where a walkway is planned. The tallest block in the three-tower development will be at the Crow’s Nest side, with five storeys in the middle-lower section. There will be a central courtyard, a games room, gym, laundry, two study rooms and two rooftop terraces. 

Engineers on the project are JODA, architects are Butler Cammoranesi, with planning by McCutcheon Halley.

Mr Kelleher said: “it’s a very good scheme, needed for the city and we hope it will be welcome”.

The deal that saw the Kellehers secure the site from Honda dealer Pat Quinlan was overseen by estate agent Matt Fallon.

Nexus for student accommodation

Victoria Cross, just west of the University College Cork campus, has become a nexus for the development of student accommodation, with UCC/Sisk building a 255-bed complex, delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but due for completion later this year, on the site of the former Crow’s Nest Bar.

In addition, there are plans for a 623-bed complex on the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant on the nearby Carrigrohane Road.

These new developments are in relation to existing student accommodation in the area including Victoria Lodge, Victorian Mills, University Hall and Castlewhite Apartments.

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