McCutcheon Halley secured permission under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process for a student accommodation development for Round Hill Capital comprising a five and part-six-storey mixed-used development including 50 no. student apartments (280 no. bed spaces) and ancillary student support facilities including a landscaped communal private open space in the form of two internal courtyards and two rooftop terraces. In addition, the development provided for the refurbishment and internal modifications of a Protected Structure as well as the provision of a commercial/café unit at ground floor level and road and footpath upgrades at Lynch’s Street and Woods Street. The Protected Structure was originally constructed as the factory of the ‘Lee Boot Company’, hence the name Bróga House.
The site was specifically identified due to its convenient location and proximity to the main campus of UCC, as well as its convenient location to other departments/research facilities associated with the University (e.g. Tyndall) and other third-level institutions such as the Crawford College of Art and Design and Cork Institute of Technology. The site is located 550 metres from the main UCC campus, with the closest UCC building, Tyndall National Institute, 290 metres northwest of the development. The development is also located within easy walking distance to the City Centre and a wide range of commercial, social and community services including shops and health services, making it an extremely amenable location from an academic and living perspective.
The ‘Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness – Rebuilding Ireland’ published in July 2016, identified the importance of providing well-designed and located student accommodation to avoid additional pressures in the private rental sector. The development satisfies three key actions identified in the Rebuilding Ireland policy document, specifically it:
- provides much-needed purpose-built student accommodation;
- ensures better utilisation of urban land; and
- frees up conventional housing for non-student residential accommodation.
Our work on this project started with a Planning Appraisal which informed our client of the development potential of the site. We then provided advice on the enabling works to allow development to commence under the extant permission for which the SHD was being assessed.
McCutcheon Halley provided advice on the quantum of development to be accommodated within site to maximise the development density in accordance with the relevant national guidance as well as the site zoning objectives, while also considering the challenges posed by the site constraints including:
- The presence of a Protected Structure.
- Location within an Architectural Conservation Area.
- Two Protected Views traversing the subject site.
McCutcheon Halley successfully guided our clients through the planning process from the initial purchase of the site and provided advice straight through to construction.
In September 2020, An Bord Pleanála issued a Grant of Permission (Reg. Ref. 307364-20). The Inspector concluded that the proposed development contributes to an established need for student accommodation within the city on an otherwise underutilised city centre site whilst also bringing a protected structure back into active use. The development will provide much-needed student housing in Cork city centre and is currently operated by Nido Student.