A planning application for a student apartment complex in one of Cork’s flood-risk zones has been lodged which the backer say will help ease the city’s chronic student bed shortage.
Just days after the flooded Carrigrohane Rd reopened to traffic, and with giant sandbags still ringing County Hall, city planners are now considering an application for a new student accommodation complex on a nearby site which flooded in 2009.
Developers Gainstar Ltd Partnership are seeking permission to demolish the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, just west of County Hall, and build 92 student apartments — a mix of three to six-bedroom apartments — in buildings ranging in height from four to seven storeys. The complex will have just over 400 bedrooms.
The application also includes plans to build a student gym, games room, meeting/study rooms, laundry facilities, and to provide basement parking for cars and bikes.
The developers said the project, if sanctioned, would make a very significant contribution towards alleviating the student accommodation shortage in Cork — estimated to be in the region of 1,000 beds.
The proposed site, sold by Coca-Cola in 2005, was one of several on Carrigrohane Rd which suffered extensive flooding in November 2009.
In a detailed report on the planning application file, planning consultants McCutcheon Halley Walsh said the 2015 city development recognised the significant demand for student accommodation in the city, and points to the need for specific residential accommodation to cater for this need.
They say their client’s proposal is consistent with the zoning on the site, and is within walking or cycling distance of both UCC and CIT.
They point to the fact that a similar project was granted permission in 2007 for an area which included the bottling plant site.
And they also say that a comprehensive flood risk assessment report has been prepared which recommends the building levels be raised above potential flood levels, the implementation of a flood emergency plan for the complex, and its linking in with the city’s early flood warning system.
This flood risk report also recommends what they describe as “robust mitigation measures”, including flood barriers and specially designed ramps to its basement car park.
And it points out that the city’s delayed €60m flood defence plan, which includes proposed defences including embankments along the Lee Fields, should reduce flood risk in the area in future.
A planning decision is due by February 19.
Flooding forced the closure of Carrigrohane Rd for several days last week.
The road and nearby Victoria Cross were swamped in the unprecedented 2009 flood when, after several weeks of sustained and heavy rainfall, the ESB released millions of gallons of water from the Inniscarra Dam.
The flooding devastated County Hall’s new library complex, and the Kingsley Hotel across the road, iwhich only reopened in 2014 under new ownership.
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