FIVE Cork City councillors are set to lodge appeals to An Bord Pleanála against the granting of planning permission for a controversial four-storey block of student apartments overlooking The Lough.
The councillors joined around 40 residents at The Lough Community Centre last night, for a meeting held to organise a response to City Hall’s decision to give the go-ahead to developers Lyonshall Ltd for a 324-student apartment block on a site adjacent to the northern end of the popular amenity.
Lough residents confirmed that they would appeal the planning department’s decision, as did Councillors Mick Finn, John Buttimer, Seán Martin and Fiona Kerins, who will lodge a joint appeal.
Cllr Paudie Dineen will lodge an appeal separately.
“Planners need to take on board people’s concerns,” Cllr Martin said.
Councillor John Buttimer added: “They also need to heed councillors, and we can band together if needs be.
“We’re not objecting to all student accommodation in appropriate locations, but this is not an appropriate location.”
Planners in City Hall granted permission for the development in December, imposing 37 conditions, after developers submitted a redesign which saw a reduction in height of half a metre to the four-storey structure, as well as a re-ordering of two parts of the building.
Residents say the redesign hasn’t addressed any of their major concerns.
“It’s still four stories of a monstrosity,” resident Billy O’Connor, of Hartland’s Avenue, said. “They utterly disregarded all our objections.”
Now, residents and other interested parties have until January 16 to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.
More than 300 residents signed the original objections to plans for Lyonshall’s Lough development following a “Save Our Lough” march last May.
Objections have included the threat to The Lough’s ecosystem, parking concerns, and the sale of Parish land, the so-called “Priest’s Field” to the developers.