Thursday 6 May 2010

Developer welcomes Cork hospital planning permission

PROPERTY DEVELOPER Owen O’Callaghan has welcomed an announcement by Cork City Council that it intends to grant planning permission for his proposal to build an €80 million private hospital in the city.

Mr O’Callaghan said the city council had confirmed to the company it intended to give permission for the 93-bed hospital on Lancaster Quay on the Western Road, which will create up to 300 permanent jobs and a further 350 jobs during construction.

The hospital project has been tied up in planning for the past 18 months and was granted planning permission by the council in July 2009 only for the project to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The board upheld the appeal and refused planning permission last December.

However O’Callaghan Properties submitted revised plans to the council in March.

Although those who made observations can still object up until May 30th, council planners have indicated to the company that it is their intention to grant the permission.

Mr O’Callaghan said the company had “fully taken on board” the views expressed by the board in its refusal for the previous proposal last December and the company was happy to meet any of the conditions outlined by the council.

“The project can immediately go to tender, is fully funded and we are committed to making it happen and creating the jobs as quickly as possible. In fact, we can be on site by September next,” said Mr O’Callaghan, adding that construction should be completed within a year.

“In our view, this project represents a very good opportunity for the city in economic, development and employment terms and we sincerely hope that it will not be delayed any further by anyone at this point.”

The 120,000sq ft, six-storey hospital would be located on a two-acre portion of the former Jurys site.

It will include six operating theatres, 20 consulting suites, surgical day beds and recovery beds as well as an intensive care unit. It will only carry out elective work.

O’Callaghan Properties had already confirmed last year that it has agreed a deal with health care operators La Tour of Switzerland and the Health Care Partnership, to run the new hospital while the project is being backed by a European private equity fund.

O’Callaghan Properties had originally planned to build 100 apartments on the site.

However it dropped that plan in favour of the hospital, having already built 175 apartments and a new Jurys hotel, now the Lee Hotel, on the site, which is adjacent to the south channel of the river.

Irish Times

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