Plans to increase the density of a controversial student apartment development in Cork city have been granted by An Bord Pleanála.
Developers Lyonshall recently submitted a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) consultation application seeking to increase the size of its project at the former O’Riordan’s Joinery on the Bandon Road by more than 100 beds.
The company was previously granted planning permission, despite local objections, for 49 student apartments consisting of 350-bed spaces in August 2018 and was subsequently granted permission to increase this to 419 spaces in 57 apartments in January last year.
However, Lyonshall recently acquired 74 Bandon Road and numbers 1 and 2 Ardnacarrig which enlarged the site area to provide more frontage to Bandon Road.
The updated application included plans for 550 bed-spaces in 81 apartments, a significant increase on planning permission already granted at the site.
Lyonshall said the increased development site provides the opportunity for the proposed development to make a greater and more positive contribution to the area providing for a new streetscape to Bandon Road.
An Bord Pleanála has this week granted the application for the extra 100 bed spaces, included in the SHD application, which allows developers to bypass local authority planning for housing projects above 100 homes in order to fast-track delivery.
The apartments are located near the junction of Glasheen Road and Bandon Road on a portion of land attached to the Church of Immaculate Conception and would be partially visible from the nearby Lough amenity walk.
Local councillor and former Lord Mayor of Cork city, Mick Finn (Ind) accused An Bord Pleanala of disregarding the views of the local community.
“As predicted, the Bord has utterly disregarded all other views on this project and now it will be an even bigger encroachment in the residential community in the Lough area,” he said.
“Given this and other similar decisions where scale and massing have been upped, there is clearly no point in appealing to the Bord.
“I have zero confidence in it and despair at the way our established communities are being treated. It’s another sad day for common sense and a victory for greed,” he added.
“Decisions like this make me question why we have city development plans at all.”