€160 million student accommodation proposal approved by An Bord Pleanála

Planning permission for eight blocks comprising 698 beds was granted despite appeals from locals

A €160 million development of eight blocks of student accommodation with 698 beds is set to proceed in Goatstown, South Dublin.

The plan was proposed by Colbeam Ltd, an Irish arm of Michael Cox’s building company, Hollybrook Homes, based in the UK. The plan was verified by An Bord Pleanála. The site chosen is Our Lady’s Grove, Goatstown, less than a kilometre from University College Dublin (UCD).

A spokesperson for Hollybrook Homes commented that: “The Board has acknowledged that this is an ideal site for student accommodation, just 850 metres from the UCD campus and close to Luas, bus and cycle lanes.”

“It will make a previously inaccessible site accessible with a linear park and nature trail with 37.5 percent of the site in open park space.”

“Work on the €160 million scheme will commence as soon as possible to facilitate students for the 2024 academic year.”

Local concerns have been raised over the building of student accommodation in the area, as voiced by Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, and the Minister for State for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan, over the fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme that would reach up to seven storeys high.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has also attempted to block planning. The Appeals Board has received 64 submissions, largely from local residents, concerning the planned student scheme.

This planning comes through after previous planning for a site for 132 apartments was given permission by An Bord Pleanála, but was then shut down by the High Court following a judicial review proceeding brought forward by a resident of the area concerned. The board mentioned that it was justified in granting planning permission for the scheme, in the context of the 2040 National Planning Framework.

The board inspector, Elaine Power, stated that the site in Goatstown is perfectly suited to accommodating a high density of students, and that the proposed development is appropriate for the size of the site concerned.

Power also claimed that the development would not interfere with the amenities in the immediate residential area, and would be permissible with regards to urban design, height and quantum of development. It would be “acceptable” in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety and convenience.

Jamie Cox

Jamie Cox is the Higher Education Correspondent for Trinity News, and a Senior Fresh Ancient and Medieval History and Culture student.