PLANS to develop a "tri-location super hospital" in west Dublin have been rejected by the planning appeals board. And now developer Richard Farrington will have to go back to the drawing board if he wants to see his ambitious plans realised.
The Irish Independent has learned that An Bord Pleanala has told Mr Farrington to conduct a full assessment of the impact his hospital complex would have on the site at Corkagh, near the Naas Road.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) could take some months to prepare, and will delay plans to build the 219,000 sqm hospital complex which would include a nine storey 220-bed maternity hospital, 12-storey 450-bed children's hospital and nine storey adult hospital.
The super hospital complex plan also includes facilities for diagnostic imaging technology and for clinical waste handling. Outline planning permission -- seeking a determination if the site was suitable for a hospital complex -- was sought from South Dublin County Council last January.
The council rejected the plans in May, but the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
It is understood the board wrote to Mr Farrington in recent days to say an EIA was required. A planning application will now have to be re-lodged with South Dublin County Council.
Last night, Mr Farrington said he had already spent €1m preparing his plan, and the EIA would cost him "a lot of money".
"This is a technicality," he said. "We went through the local planners and they didn't make an issue of this.
"We were seeing if in theory, a hospital could get planning permission on the site. We've already done most of the work, and I think this is a bit severe. "This just delays it, but I would take it as a positive because it wasn't refused,'' he added.