Local opposition as six-storey student hall planned for Limerick’s northside

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Local opposition as six-storey student hall planned for Limerick’s northside

The towering building is planned for the site of former pub Hassetts

A FORMER pub on the northside could be knocked, with a six-storey student accommodation complex proposed to take its place, the Limerick Leader can reveal.
Shelbourne Medical Properties Ltd is seeking planning permission from Limerick City and County Council to replace Hassett’s Pub, at Hassett’s Cross near Kileely with an apartment block.
The plans provide for 31 student apartment units, and would contain 143 bed spaces in total.
On top of this, a medical centre is planned for the site, with 20 car parking spaces and secure bicycle storage.
However, residents are divided on the matter, with local Sinn Fein councillor John Costelloe saying not enough consultation has been done with them ahead of the submission of the planning permission.
It is understood that a committee in opposition will be formed shortly.​
According to the plans, the gross floor space of the student accommodation amounts to 5,517 square metres, with the neighbourng medical centre measuring some 366 square metres. The developers will no doubt have an eye on the expansion of the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).
The third-level college is expanding from its current campus in Moylish. It will open a sister campus out at Coonagh Cross.
But Cllr Costelloe has argued it should be LIT which houses any student complex.
“I cannot understand why it’s been proposed for that site.  LIT has several acres at the back of its campus. Why could they not be put it there? There are plenty of other empty spaces,” the northside member told the Limerick Leader.
The breakdown of the development, according to documents submitted to the planning authority will see five three-bed units, nine four-bed units, and 17 units which will have “four-plus” beds.
The 20 car parking spaces will be used exclusively for the medical centre, the application also states.
It’s not the only student accommodation complex planned for the city: at Punch’s Cross another towering development is in the pipeline.
This will see a total of 324 student-beds in a mix of one-bed, two-bed and three-bed apartments. This particular application is being fast tracked through the housing process.
Another student accommodation complex is likely to raise eyebrows, at the same time as the construction of general residential homes remains low. Student accommodation complexes are exempt from the stipulation that social housing must be provided.
At the same time, the Higher Education Authority has noted an acute shortage of student bed spaces across Ireland.
In a statement issued to the Limerick Leader by Rooney’s Auctioneers, the developer said it is “confident this is a worthwhile and much needed development for this site at this location and the construction of same will provide many jobs over a period of time.”
The statement also pointed to the clean-up of a derelict site in the shadow of Thomond Park, and the economic spin-offs for local businesses from the complex’s occupants.