A render of the proposed Punch's Cross student development which has been given permission today
AN Bord Pleanala has cleared the way for a new student village at a long-derelict site in Limerick.
Cloncaragh Investment had sought permission to build 100 apartments accommodating over 300 students at the former John Moloney garage site.
Situated opposite Punch’s Cross, the land has lain idle for almost two decades.
The new facility is designed to meet the needs of those studying at Mary Immaculate College, the University of Limerick (UL) and the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), with the latter two having ambitious growth plans.
Derrick Walshe of Cloncaragh Investments said: “This is a positive day for Limerick city that will now mean that an idle and vacant brownfield site will be regenerated into a positive for our city.”
It’s the second time permission was sought, with An Bord Pleanala rejecting the first blueprint.
This led to a review from Cloncaragh, and a fresh application which has paved the way for this decision.
“This development will see 100 quality apartments delivered, which will accommodate over 300 residents. By adding this housing stock, it will help to ease the housing pressure in the vicinity; by increasing housing supply and helping to make rents and housing more affordable,” Mr Walsh added.
He pointed out that Mary Immaculate College, based nearest to the development, is supportive of the project.
“The University of Limerick also plans to develop a campus on Sarsfield Street and this will also feed into the demand for this accommodation type. This development in time, may also assist University Hospital Limerick with their accommodation needs,” he argued.
As part of the planning permission, almost 400 bike storage stands will be delivered, while the local road infrastructure will be improved.
This will include widened footpaths, a proposed road widening on the Rosbrien Road to allow for an extra traffic lane; and a new centrepiece plaza at Punches Cross. The accommodation will be fully supervised and managed with security and concierge services for its residents.
Mr Walshe concluded: “Today’s decision will see the site turned into something that contributes economic positives for Limerick City as well as meeting the rising demand for quality accommodation. Limerick is currently undergoing significant regeneration and it is important that critical infrastructure such as housing keeps up with demand, so that our city can continue to flourish. It is our intention to begin construction as soon as possible and this in turn will also stimulate local employment in Limerick’s construction sector.”
Local Labour councillor Joe Leddin, who has welcomed the project, said had asked the developer to facilitate an online meeting to allow local residents engage with the plan.
“Assurances were provided based on residents’ concerns that the proposed two retail units would not compete or displace business from the local Greenpark local centre while a detailed student management plan to include centre manager would be provided," he confirmed.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.