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‘We’re up in arms’

Thursday, 11th May, 2017 1:01am

A protest will be held on Saturday objecting to plans to build a 350-bed student development.

“We’re up in arms over this. It’s scandalous and a disgrace.”

Those are the words of resident Billy O’Connor of The Lough speaking to the Cork Independent about the proposed plans.

The residents are objecting to the development which plans to include five blocks of four-storey apartments with room for 350 students. The development, if planning permission is passed, will be near Lough Villas and Lough View Terrace.

Mr O’Connor said that the strip of land was sold by the Cork and Ross Diocese to a private company and said that “sacred land like this shouldn’t be sold”.

Residents have established the ‘Save the Lough from High Rise’ Facebook group and will be protesting against the plans on Saturday at 6pm from the Parish Hall. They will march from there, around the Lough and back to the hall.

They are also encouraging locals to submit their objection to Cork City Council and deadline to do so is Tuesday.

Mr O’Connor said: “It’s five blocks and four storeys and it’s going to be plonked in the middle of the community. All of the apartments are going to be overlooking the houses that are adjacent to ‘The Joinery’ and ‘The Priest’s Field’.

“They are going to be towering over like a monstrosity. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

He said that the land was sold to raise money for restoration and works to the church in The Lough.

Mr O’Connor said that if something has to be built on the land, he would prefer to see a gated complex for the elderly where they feel safe and where a doctor or dentist could visit them once a week.

He said he wasn’t against student accommodation but believed that this is not the right area for it especially when so many elderly live in the area.

Local councillor for area, Independent Cllr Mick Finn said he is also against the development. He claimed that residents were unaware of the idea until 7 May, after the plans had already gone ahead.

“I suppose their greatest concern is that a building that is up to five storeys high is out of character, totally off-kilter with the area. This big mass of concrete and building will be planted here,” said Cllr Finn.

He concluded: “It will spoil what is probably one of the most recreational areas in the city. We do need student apartments but not in areas of high recreational value. I would hope that the planning department will listen to the complaints and do the right thing, which is to not go ahead.”

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