Students to gain in revised Cork events centre plans as apartment number doubles

More than 400 students could get to live in purpose-built Cork City centre accommodation as part of revisions to the long-awaited events centre.

The original plans for the former Beamish brewery site which received permission in 2011 included apartments to accommodate 188 students. However, with growing pressure for student accommodation in the city and suburbs, the number has been more than doubled in an application to change parts of the Brewery Quarter development.

The demolition of buildings which are not being retained in the final development has already begun, and final internal designs for the events centre are due to be completed in the next month. In the meantime, Bam Property Ltd has sought permission from Cork City Council for the changes to the northern element of the overall site nearer to Washington Street.

Among the modifications are a significant reduction in shopping and office spaces, turning it into a primarily student apartment zone. As a result of the proposed increase from 48 to 61 student apartments, it would accommodate 417 students.

As well as the associated study rooms, laundry facilities, reception and administration areas, that area of the site would also now include a restaurant and café.

The development firm has also entered an arrangement for the residential element to be managed by an experienced company which specialises in student accommodation.

The same student accommodation specialists are involved with the recently-approved plans to build a major development near University College Cork. The scheme of apartments ranging from four-bedroom to six-bedrooms sizes was proposed to accommodate 190 students.

However, the proposal has not cleared the planning process as more than a dozen appeals have been submitted in relation to Cork City Council’s decision to grant permission last month.

The application associated with UK student accommodation company Ziggurat was for the former Muskerry service station on Lancaster Quay, between Washington Street and the main Western Road entrance to University College Cork.

It received permission without any further information requests from local authority planners or other departments, but several residents and other third parties have made objections.

A decision on that proposal is not expected from Bord Pleanála until next January, with concerns around traffic, parking, potential noise or anti-social behaviour among the issues to be considered.

Atelier Property Management, lined up to oversee the Brewery Quarter student accommodation, outlined its experience in establishing relationships with neighbours to existing facilities in a document included with Bam’s planning application.

As well as in the UK, it manages facilities for students near University College Dublin and at Copley Court in Cork.

“We deliberately cultivate harmonious relationships with our neighbourhood stakeholders, and we have incorporated specific practices, developed through experience directly in this sector. Naturally, it isn’t always possible to achieve complete harmony but it is a goal we embed into our operational culture and for which we strive every day,” says its student accommodation management plan.

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