A councillor is lashing out that local concerns were not considered before giving the go-ahead for a large-scale student accommodation block in Stillorgan.
Cairn Homes got the green light from An Bord Pleanala (ABP) for the development of 179 student accommodation units and 103 residential apartments.
The mixed-use development will comprise of 576 beds, a gym, study spaces, lounges, retail and cafe units, community sports hall and associated student amenities.
Councillor for the Stillorgan area Barry Saul is disappointed that concerns from local residents were not taken on board: “I’m disappointed that ABP have granted permission for this large-scale development. Stillorgan will see huge changes in the future, and this should be council led through the Stillorgan Local Area plan.”
The Fine Gael Cllr added: “ABP’s decision undermines the role of both the councillors and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown council, as we are currently in the process of developing a plan for the future of Stillorgan.”
There have been mixed views on social media.
“Sad day for Stillorgan.”
“I’m not opposed to this, what’s currently there is an eyesore. Perfect transport links for students and I’m sure the extra people will be good for businesses in the area, and Stillorgan Centre might have better shops as a result.”
“Is our country for sale to the highest bidders.”
“Another loss for area.”
“Pragmatic planning decision to locate high density student accommodation by side of busy road. Less than 3k to UCD. Will get some students out of three-bed semis more suited to young families.”
“Looks good, far better than the current state of the site.”
Some were worried about traffic management in the area.
One wrote: “It’s terrible trying to get through Stillorgan at any given time, never mind when construction works start on that development etc.”
Another said: “We can’t even get out of our estate in the morning as it is.”
Local councillors have previously slammed the student building as a “disgrace”.
Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly said the development would not be suitable for the Stillorgan village area, and that residents’ views have not been considered.
“There is a real need for some high-quality accommodation in the area.
“It is absolutely scandalous that a prime site would be considered for anything else,” Cllr Donnelly said.
Fine Gael councillor John Kennedy said the proposed development will not suit the area and will appear “out of place” in the village.
“Design aspects should be considered for this development. It should be ornate and fit in with the other buildings already in the area,” Cllr Kennedy said.
The Dublin-listed homebuilder Cairn Homes said it is great news for students and the area.
On their website they said: “The site is within 1 km of UCD Belfield Campus, Ireland’s largest university. The proposed development will deliver much needed student accommodation and residential housing units together with ancillary commercial development on a derelict brownfield site which will enhance Stillorgan village.
“A key requirement for the design of the development was that it responded appropriately to its location while respecting the amenity and character of the neighbouring streets.”