College have been given permission by Dublin City Council for plans to redevelop Oísin House, which is set to cost €50 million to complete.
Dublin City Council’s report approved Trinity’s new planning submission for the “reduction in height, mass and bulk and associated alterations to the roof profile will allow the new building to successfully integrate and be a more accepted edition to the built environment.” Altered from the original plans, Oísin House will be a six storey, 12,110 sq metre scheme with 250 places. For these planning submissions and overview, Trinity must contribute €330,585 to the Council.
Plans were originally rejected by Dublin City Council in July. These plans outlined the potential for 278 places for students Oísin House, the old Department of Social Protection building. Trinity was set to invest €36m in the demolition and redevelopment of this complex. However, Dublin City Council rejected Trinity’s November permission for planning and lease of this 1970s seven storey-building, because the Council raised concerns for the architectural conservation area surround Oísin House. An Taisce had also lobbied the plans because of the seven storey, 13,800-sq scheme would contravene environmental and housing standards in Ireland.
In response, Trinity advised students to apply to the new private student development run by UK company, The Student Housing Group, in the Liberties, the Binary Hub. The Binary Hub comprises 471 ‘cluster apartments’ of 3-8 bedrooms and rates are all inclusive of utilities, a private gym and fully furnished rooms. College attributed the 12% increase in rates for campus and Halls accommodation this year to subsidise their new lease of the Binary Hub.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President, Kieran McNulty, said in a statement to Trinity News: “I’m delighted that Oisin House is going ahead – it will benefit students in several ways, including new facilities for the Health Service and the Disability Service as well as the new accommodation. I’m happy that students were heard by An Bord Pleanála and that they were receptive to the new design. More needs to be done for accommodation, not least from the government’s side. We need to guarantee supply so that prices will be affordable again, and the SU is working to increase this supply. But I’m happy that this project at least is going ahead.”
Student residence charges across Ireland this year have risen substantially in recent times. Some statistics show that on average at least €1000 has been added for students renting in halls or campus accommodation.