Planning permission was secured from An Bord Pleanála for the development of a four-storey student accommodation building comprising 15 no. apartments (ranging in size between 3-7 bedrooms) and all associated development works including vehicular and pedestrian access, bicycle parking, bin store, landscaping and amenity areas. The development also included a change of use of Hawthorn House from residential to student amenity and management facilities.
The student accommodation development proposed 79 bedspaces (Phase 2) which followed a successful planning application located on the eastern boundary of the site where a planning application for student accommodation for 41 bed spaces (phase 1) was previously granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála.
The proposed development was located within the Mardyke Architectural Conservation Area (ACA). Cork City Council considered that the proposed development would have a negative impact on the Mardyke ACA and would be out of character with the pattern of development in the Mardyke area.
A first party appeal was submitted to An Bord Pleanála by McCutcheon Halley Planning Consultants outlining a conservation led approach was undertaken to ensure that the existing Hawthorn House would be retained and improved and that the form and design of the new student accommodation block was appropriate and would make a positive contribution to the Mardyke ACA.
An Bord Pleanála overturned the Council’s decision and issued permission stating ‘the proposal would enhance the setting of Hawthorn House, which is included in the NIAH, and it would contribute a new building of architectural quality that would complement the adjacent building on the adjoining site to the north-east as a further contemporary addition to the Mardyke Architectural Conservation Area.’