The site of the former St Peter's Bakery on Parnell Street

Source: Google Street View

257-bed student housing complex on site of historical bakery in Dublin's north inner city given green light

The complex will be built near two other student developments in the area.
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AN BORD PLEANÁLA has granted permission for the construction of a seven-storey student accommodation complex in Dublin’s north inner city.

SP Bakery Ltd received approval from the authority to built a 257-bed complex on the site of the old St Peter’s Bakery on Parnell Street under fast-track planning regulations.

Permission for the development, which will be constructed less than 200m from the site of an existing 491-bed student complex on Gardiner Street and near another 374-bed complex in Summerhill, was lodged in February under the Strategic Development Plan.

The plan allows developments of more than 100 homes or student complexes with more than 200 bed spaces to bypass Dublin City Council and be made directly to An Bord Pleanála instead.

The new development will be constructed on the site of a former bakery complex, which is a protected structure dating to the early 20th century and is currently occupied by a printing business and furniture warehouse.

The complex will be built in five different blocks ranging from four to seven storeys in height, and will contain between three and 23 apartments.

It will also feature indoor an outdoor communal and recreational facilities, including a coffee bar, a media zone, a games room, a gym, a laundry and roof gardens.

The application also contained permission for a mixed-use residential office development, although this was refused by An Bord Pleanála.

Local residents in the area made a number of third-party submissions to the board regarding the development, which included concerns about an ongoing lack of social and affordable homes in the area and that the complex would overlook nearby homes.

A number of elected representatives, including councillors Ray McAdam, Mannix Flynn, Ciaran Cuffe, and Éilis Ryan, reiterated these claims, and pointed to an over-supply of student accommodation in the area.

Local conservation group The Mountjoy Square Society also raised similar issues, while adding that the development was over-scaled and that the applicant had mis-represented the architectural heritage of the original site.

In response, An Bord Pleanála said it considered that student accommodation was acceptable in the area, and that it did not anticipate an over-concentration of similar developments.

It also noted the impact on adjoining residents and made some recommendations regarding the height of one part of the proposed complex, but said the visual impact of the development was acceptable.

The authority concluded that the proposed development was “broadly acceptable”, subject to the removal of one storey from one of the blocks and some other conditions.

Speaking after permission was granted, Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan said the board’s approval made “a mockery” of the provisions of the Strategic Development Plan to prevent excessive levels of student accommodation in one part of the city.

“There’s no appeals process here for an extremely expensive profitable commercial development,” she told TheJournal.ie.

“It’s extremely undemocratic. The students themselves won’t have a detrimental impact on the area, but what’s needed here is social housing for people in the area, not a private development.”

It is not known when construction on the new complex is expected to begin.

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