Plans lodged for 280-bed student development on landmark site in Cork city centre

Plans lodged for 280-bed student development on landmark site in Cork city centre

Developers behind a large mixed-use student accommodation development in Cork city have revised down slightly plans to increase bed spaces in the proposed expansion.

IRE Real Estate Investment Partners Fund II has now applied through the fast track process with proposals for a 280- bed development in 50 units, at the former Square Deal Premises on Washington Street.

It includes 10 one-bed studios, two two-bed studios, two four-bed apartments, four five-bed apartments, four six-bed apartments,10 seven- bed apartments, and 18 eight-bed apartments.

The development, called Broga House, is set to be part five and part six-storey, and will also include a commercial or cafe unit at ground level. Bicycle spaces are also to be provided, while there is no car parking provided, and non-car travel will be promoted by staff.

Part of the building — which was also previously the former Lee Boots Manufacturing Company — is a protected structure, and that will be refurbished and modified. The entire retained structure is to be in student accommodation use, and developers hope they can “recapture some of this aesthetic” in the new design. If given the green light, it is anticipated that the scheme will be operational from September 2022.

Improvements are also proposed to surrounding streets including new paving and public lighting. Woods Street is set to be widened by 90cm, while Lynch’s Street will be widened significantly from 5.2m to 9.6m.

The former Square Deal building at Washington Street, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.
The former Square Deal building at Washington Street, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

A raised table is proposed at the junction between Woods Street and Lynch’s street, to facilitate vehicular and pedestrian movement.

Nido Management UK has been selected as the proposed management providers for the facility once completed. They manage approximately 4,633 student rooms throughout the UK and Europe.

The company operates a four-tier escalation process to deal with anti-social behaviour and operate ‘quiet hours’ between 10pm and 7am in residences.

Planning permission for a 242-bed development was granted by Cork City Council in 2018 for the plans at The Former Square Deal Premises, Washington Street West, but IRE Real Estate Investment Partners Fund II then sought to up the bed numbers to 292.

However, in their pre-application consultation for the SHD with An Bord Pleanála, they were told the proposals required amendment or further consideration.

Some of the concerns raised included the need for further detail in relation to flood risk measures, which now see the proposed raising of the overall building height from the permitted height by 1.385m for reasons including to adhere to the Flood Risk Report.

The consultation phase with An Bord Pleanála also raised questions about the impact on protected views including the view of St Finbarr’s Cathedral from Grenville Place and from St Anne’s Tower, while issues were also raised in relation to the proposed height, bulk, and massing of the proposed development, which has been addressed in the formal application.

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