Cork City Council Planning Department is tasked with implementing the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas 2009 and and “to facilitate and promote the highest quality planning and sustainable development”.
In Magazine Road and the adjoining streets, the Planning Department has consistently failed to enforce existing planning regulations and to protect the existing built environment in the historic and architecturally noteworthy neighbourhood.
The Planning Department has allowed:
- family homes to be converted into high-density mini-hostels, whereby the back gardens are completely built over and the original rooms are split into 2 metre by 2 metre cubicles. A family house goes from a 3-bedroom house to an 9-bedroom hostel which entirely changes the nature of a street. The excessive density causes parking and rubbish problems. These illegal extensions in back gardens are in contravention of Planning Regulations which requires a minimum amenity area of 40 sqm to be left around a house.
- removal of protected garden railings
- removal of front gardens without planning permission, changing a green leafy streetscape into a concrete carpark
- bad planning decisions
Furthermore, chapter 6 of the 2015 Cork City Development Plan Residential Strategies and Objections states that planning applications for student accommodation need to include the potential impact on local residential communities.
In a recent decision, the planning department granted provisional planning permission with no restrictions for the construction of 7 three story student housing units in the back garden of a house on Magazine Road. The 38 planning objections, submitted by 87 residents, were ignored by the planning department, who refused to meet with concerned councillors and residents.