Developers have applied for fast-tracked permission to build a new student accommodation facility near UCD. If approved, the facility would consist of eight 7 storey apartment blocks, with space for nearly 700 beds. 

The proposed onsite facilities for Colbeam residences would include communal kitchens, living and dining rooms along with a gym, library, yoga studio, a film room, study space, common room, and prayer room. A final decision on the application is expected by early June. 

The proposal comes from Colbeam, a British-backed development company, and will be on a 5.3-acre site adjacent to Our Lady’s Grove, a local primary school. The site was previously owned by the Religious Sisters of Jesus and Mary (who run the aforementioned school) and will be called Grove Court. 

Like Montrose, which is currently closed and under redevelopment, this new facility would presumably be privately run and not directly associated with the University. UCD plans on adding nearly 2,000 more beds of its own by 2024, with 924 of these scheduled to open for September of 2021. 

Montrose Student Accommodation, Pre Redevelopment Work Undertaken

The news comes shortly after a considerably smaller facility of nearly 250 beds was awarded planning permission nearby, despite community opposition to the proposal. The Roebuck Residents’ Association has spoken out against these large-scale developments, citing fears that they could drastically negatively affect local infrastructure. Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown Council also voiced apprehensions during a pre-application consultation.  The development of a similar facility, on the same site, planned to hold 132 apartments, was cancelled after a local resident brought forward a successful challenge in the High Court last year. 

Lack of purpose-built student accommodation is a long-standing and well-documented issue in Dublin, with UCD being no exception. Despite supporting a student population of around 30,000, UCD currently only has enough on-campus housing space for 3,164. 

Jack McGee- Reporter