O’Reilly Hall: The site of UCD President Andrew Deeks’ private club, the original application received planning permission this year. UCD applied back in June for its Revised Fire Safety Certificate. The Council issued a time extension for the application at the end of September. A Fire Safety Cert is required by law before construction of the extension can begin.

Work has begun to construct a new ‘fire tender access road’ to O’Reilly Hall. UCD Estates confirmed that a pedestrian path running between the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID), facing towards the N11 entrance, and the lightly wooded area facing CRID, closed on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 10th of October. UCD Estates have set up signs directing people to alternative routes, but all commuting facilities, including bicycle stands and parking spaces, remain unaffected. The path is expected to be closed for up to one month.

Residences Masterplan: UCD is moving ahead with its masterplan to construct several new residential buildings in Belfield, in order to increase on-campus accommodation from around 2,800 beds at present to 6,000 over the coming years. The next phase of the plan aims to add just over 3,000 new places. UCD has applied for Fire Safety Certificates for Blocks D and E from the proposal. It has also applied for one, alongside a Disability Access Certificate, for its proposed Fulcrum Building.

UCD is attempting to speed up the planning permission process by going straight to An Bord Pleanala, instead of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Andrew Deeks used his Presidential Bulletin to staff to explain that ‘at the time Minister Coveney, who officially opened those [Ashfield] residences, strongly encouraged us to follow this particular planning path. Unfortunately it has taken longer than we hoped for the new process to open for applications.’ He further stated that ‘contrary to some of the reporting, we will not be demolishing any protected structures, and have applied for a modest increase in parking spaces on the campus as part of the masterplan.’

NovaUCD: The College Tribune’s lead piece for Issue 2 covered UCD’s new application to expand NovaUCD at Merville House. The original application was rejected because UCD’s proposal to expand parking facilities at the building came too close to land reserved for the Dublin Eastern Bypass Corridor motorway. The new plan has dropped the car park changes and slightly reduced the scope of the extension works. UCD has now followed up on this application with one for a Fire Safety Certificate, lodged on the 6th of October.

Cian Carton – Editor