A MEDICAL centre in Killarney has secured planning retention but strict conditions have been imposed by An Bord Pleanála.
A group of GPs are already operating out of a commercial /office block in the town.
Along with developers of the Reeks Gateway project, the doctors were forced to seek retention permission for change of use of blocks one and two after pharmacists in Killarney raised the issue with the planning appeals’ board.
Conditions laid down stipulate that permission relates to a medical centre for a specified number of GP practices — and not to a primary care centre.
Pharmacists had objected to the concentration of GPs in one centre and challenged a decision by the town council to allow a major medical centre and a pharmacy into a new multi-storey building originally planned for office and commercial use.
The pharmacists were also concerned that the centre holds two pharmacies and was a likely threat to long established businesses.
The 105,000sq-ft Reeks Gateway, comprising of multi-storey blocks, retail units and a petrol station at the northern entrance to Killarney, was built at the height of the boom by Sundays Well Properties Ltd.
The tower blocks were never fully occupied.
Killarney Town Council granted permission to the doctors — in conjunction with Sundays Well Properties Ltd for the change of use of the property.
The grant of permission allows use of the ground floor retail unit for a pharmacy and café.
Pharmacists, who had lodged objections to the application for retention, can still lodge an appeal.