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Decision on expansion to Mary I in Limerick is due

The Mount Convent building

The Mount Convent building

  • by Nick Rabbitts
 

MARY IMMACULATE will find out in the next fortnight whether an expansion to the former Mount Convent can proceed.

The South Circular Road college is seeking to change the use of the building - once home to the Sisters of Mercy - from residential to educational.

The third level college announced plans to buy the former orphanage early last year.

It is expected city planners will make a decision on their application by Wednesday, August 20.

According to supporting documentation submitted to the local authority, the college plans to relocate its research faculty, tutorial and office space to the building.

Very little interior change to the 1839 building will be needed, but the future use of the chapel and St Vincent’s Hall has yet to be decided.

“The current layout of the building is predominantly cellular and is very well suited to the college’s requirements,” a Mary Immaculate spokesperson states.

However, the homeowners of Mount Gerard Court in the South Circular Road have lodged an objection to an aspect of the application.

This is to create a two-way pedestrian link between the existing Mary Immaculate College campus, and the Mount Convent to provide a link for the staff and students.

In a written submission, the homeowners state: “Promoting the use of Mount Gerard Court as a two-way pedestrian route for the 3,000-plus population of the two campuses will, by default, suggest to the students that the area is an extension of their campus. Effectively this will make the area an unofficial interconnecting plaza for the students.”

They raise fears over health and safety, stating the plan will “mix a high volume of pedestwrian traffic with vehicular traffic”.

They also have expressed concerns over a loss in property values, and the disruption to what is “an otherwise very peaceful and quiet location.”

 

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