Lough to step up fight against student plan

Lough to step up fight against student plan
The Lough. Pic: Kelly O'Brien

Residents of The Lough will not give up on their fight against a student high-rise in their area, according to local Independent Councillor Paudie Dineen.

“The Lough area is already absolutely saturated with student accommodation and it's definitely affecting the quality of life of a lot of people living here,” he said.

“Residents will tell you that, in some parts, the level of student accommodation even far outweighs those that are long term family residents. Therefore the family quality and the inclusive, neighbourhood style of living has been diminished. We're beginning to lose the community completely and utterly and we need to rebuild it, before it's too late.” 

Cllr Dineen referred to the Cork City Development Plan, and a particular section of it which focuses on inclusive neighbourhoods.

“Ironically enough, the image that is included in that chapter, as an example of an inclusive neighbourhood, is the Lough itself. If you look at the section and then look at this proposed 350-bed student development, you will see it is totally contradictory,” he said.

“Hopefully those in the city hall planning department will pay attention to the objections that have been lodged and, if they don't, then it's time to ask questions about our city development plan and if it is worth the paper it's written on.” 

Cllr Dineen said people in the area remain hopeful that planning permission will be refused to developers Lyonshall, who want to build the three- and four-storey development on a site between Lough View Terrance and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

He personally said, however, that recently the ethos has just been “build, build, build”.

“The current situation, I think they are granting planning permission for everything, regardless of what the issues are. It's all build, build, build and I think that's a bad way of doing things,” he said.

“If it were social housing to be built, or other accommodation, people in the area would view it much differently because that would go towards rebuilding the community." 

He said locals are prepared to appeal to An Board Pleanala should Cork City Council give the project the go ahead. 

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