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Residents beside site for new student complex protest over noise levels and rats

The new 300-bed student accommodation complex is expected to be completed by 2020.

RESIDENTS LIVING BESIDE a large student accommodation development site in Dublin city have complained about noise levels in the mornings and evenings and a surge in the rats population around their homes. 

Residents of the Whitefriar Gardens council estate, which is directly across the road from the Aungier Street development, held a protest outside the site earlier this week. When finished the site, which is owned by Scape, a private student housing developer, will contain a 300-bed complex and a number of retail spaces. 

One resident, Myles Kenny told TheJournal.ie that the noise levels have become a nuisance for him and his neighbours, particular those with young children.

“I live just there [with a window facing the site] and my neighbour has an autistic child and there were two lights shining on the site for about six months, they had to put black bags on the windows,” he said. 

Kenny said residents can regularly hear noise on the site from 7.30 and sometimes the contractors get special permission to start earlier.

“It’s very disruptive for us and for kids as well if it’s in the evening and they’re in bed.”

He said they had a meeting with the contractors to express their frustration about the noise, and other issues like access to footpaths and an increase in the rat population in the area. 

“The flats are full of rats since [work began]. This place here was idle for about three or four years and it built up an awful amount of rats in it because the grass was 12 feet high and it was just rubble and everything. When they came in and cleared it the rats obviously spread and they’re in the flats now,” he explained. 

“You’d get the odd one before around the bins but since this has happened we’ve seen awn awful amount of rats in the flats.

“It’s nearly an occurrence every second day that someone sees one now on the landings or near the bins. The council built something to keep them out of the bins but they still get in. It’s just a danger with the kids having rats around.”

Scape living, a UK based company, has 3,000 student rooms in London, with developments in Australia and plans for a large-scale complex in Boston. 

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The plans for the development include 300 student ensuite student rooms with a gym, recreation areas and roof gardens in the complex. Five retain units will also be included. 

Permission for the development was initially refused by Dublin City Council in April 2016.

This was appealed to An Bord Pleaneala and permission was granted in in November the same year with a number of conditions including the archaeological excavation of the site.

A spokesperson for Scape declined to comment on local resident complaints. 

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