Cork councillors are set to meet with residents who object to the building of a 146-bed Student Accommodation complex on Farranlea Road, Sunday’s Well.
Residents have sent over 50 letters to the council objecting to the development, largely due to complains about the building’s height, parking arrangements and the prospect of antisocial behavior & property devaluation by having students live in the area.
“This relatively huge influx and constant churn of students will do nothing to enhance the very active and established community spirit and neighbourly rapport but will serve to grossly undermine it,” writes one disgruntled resident in an objection letter sent to the council.
“We are all only too familiar with the scantily clad, unruly, marauding student gangs parading the streets of Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Dublin university towns and cities during RAG week..and various celebratory occasions during the year,” writes another. “This type of culture is not in keeping with quiet residential areas.”
Residents complained about the height of the four-storey building, which was increased in size despite previous objections. One resident complained that there would be excessive shade over his garden, and several more pointed out the massive shadow this would cast over the neighbourhood.
Objections were also raised around parking, as the 146-bed facility only has 10 planned parking spaces. Farranlea road is a disc-parking area. Others expressed concerns around raising their children in an area populated by students, and more complained of inadequate planning for bins in the complex.
Many suggested space near Carrigrohane Road, or developing student accommodation on campus.
This development is one of three proposed in the area, as UCC and CIT scramble to provide enough accommodation for incoming students, the number of which is growing every year.
“CIT has the ground that would be suitable for accommodation, but they don’t have the ability to raise independent money to build. UCC have the money but no land,” said councillor John Buttimer, who believes it would be beneficial to improve transport, “…if we could find a way of harnessing the two of them together…”
There is currently over 2,500 student beds in Cork City, with another 2,500-3000 to be built over the next eight months.
In August 2017 there was a shortfall of 25,000 student beds compared to those needed. With property prices still rising, and just over 3000 properties available in rent nationwide at the end of 2017, accommodation scarcity has become a pressing issue for university students, with UCC’s on-campus accommodation fully booking out before CAO results were even announced.
Rent prices have not dropped since the Celtic Tiger years, and the issue of student accommodation has been raised as a concern for many.
On the other hand, however, RAG week and UCC Christmas have both been the subject of media scrutiny, and UCC has been taking great pains to clamp down on anti-social behavior in the coming year.