PROPERTY DEVELOPER Owen O’Callaghan yesterday submitted revised plans for an €80 million 930-bed private hospital in Cork which, if granted planning permission, will create up to 300 permanent jobs.
The revised application by O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) comes just three months after An Bord Pleanála refused permission for an earlier application by the same developer to build a private hospital on a site adjacent to Jurys Hotel on Lancaster Quay on the Western Road.
Cork City Council had granted planning for the private hospital last July but the decision was appealed by objectors to An Bord Pleanála which ruled against granting the application, obliging OCP to amend its proposal for the private facility.
According to Mr O’Callaghan, the revised application to Cork City Council for the proposed six-storey hospital takes account of issues raised by An Bord Pleanála in its ruling last December which saw the board reject the original application by a single vote.
“We have taken full cognisance of the views expressed by An Bord Pleanála in December. The design is very much in keeping with the existing streetscape and buildings and is ‘stepped’ at various points to take account of the surrounding built environment. The proposed new clinic will be much smaller in scale and will be 1.2 metres lower in height, have its own independent access and parking and will cater for elective procedures only and does not include a walk-in injuries or trauma facility,” he said.
Mr O’Callaghan said the project was ready to start immediately if planning permission was achieved and would create up to 350 construction jobs in addition to the 300 permanent medical, paramedical and administrative jobs it would provide.
OCP confirmed last year that it had agreed a deal with healthcare operators, La Tour International of Switzerland and the Health Partnership, to run the new hospital while the project is being backed by a European private equity fund.
Mr O’Callaghan said he believed that the Western Road site was the premium location for a private hospital in Cork because of its proximity to existing hospitals such as Cork University Hospital and the Mercy as well as clinics and University College Cork.
“Its advantages as a location are recognised by the very strong level of medical consultant interest in establishing at the clinic. This is an excellent and vital project for Cork and we are hopeful of a satisfactory outcome from the planning process,” he said.