Concern student building will negatively impact community

Concern student building will negatively impact community

The proposed UCC student accommodation block at the Crow’s Nest site at Victoria Cross.

CONCERNS have been raised about the impact of a 255-bed student development at Victoria Cross.

UCC has unveiled plans for a multi-million euro, 255-bed student apartment development at the Crow’s Nest site.

The university was recently given approval to lodge their plans through a new fast-track system to encourage accommodation construction that bypasses Cork City Council and goes directly to An Bord Pleanála.

However, city councillor John Buttimer has warned that the complex needs to be properly managed and the density of the area needs to be considered

Mr Buttimer is involved in the Strategic Planning Committee currently in the process of developing a draft policy on purpose-built student accommodation in Cork.

The draft policy, which may be completed by the end of March 2018, will highlight the need for the development and building of student complexes to be catered for city needs and policies rather than developers.

“We have, I think, around 2,500 beds already in the city and there’s planning for around another 1,500 or 2,000.

“We want to make sure that, where they’re going is appropriate for students, colleges and the local residential communities.

“While the location, we feel, is correct, and there is a need for student accommodation, the density is a concern,” he added.

The proposed student accommodation building is set to rise to eight and up to 10 storeys, across four linked blocks, on the former western suburban site of the Crow’s Nest bar.

Proposed are 255 student bed-spaces, ancillary student facilities, a health and wellness centre, a public café onto Victoria Cross as well as bicycle spaces, ancillary site and landscaping works.

“We’ll also have to look at the density and the way the complex will be managed,” added Mr Buttimer.

“What we want is that student accommodation is managed and supervised, controlled and regulated.

“What we have found is that the more supervised these complexes are, the less anti-social behaviour that occurs there.”

While the original plans to date have indicated no parking developments, Mr Buttimer feels this is the correct call.

“I’m in favour of limited car spaces for purpose-built student accommodation, particularly where they (students) aren’t eligible for resident parking permits,” he said.

“We’re trying to create a shift from the private car to public transport.

“The majority of students are here for the week or at least five days and we would like to encourage them to use public transport to get here and around the city because what we don’t want is the streets clogged with cars that aren’t being used during the week,” added Mr Buttimer.

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