Wednesday 21 July 2010

Decision due this week on €160m Sandyford hospital

A DECISION is expected from An Bord Pleanála later this week on whether a 120-bed women’s, children’s and maternity hospital in south Dublin can proceed.

The Beacon Medical Group has been seeking to build the hospital for a number of years. Planning permission was initially refused by Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council in 2008 due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure and foul water drainage in the area.

However, when these issues were resolved, planning was granted for the €160 million development in Sandyford late last year, but the National Roads Authority (NRA) and a local residents’ association subsequently lodged objections with An Bord Pleanála.

An oral hearing on the matter was held by the board last month, prior to which the NRA withdrew its objection to the development. However, the hearing proceeded and local residents expressed concern about the lack of an overall development plan for the Sandyford area rather than objections to the hospital per se.

A decision from An Bord Pleanála is now expected by Friday.

Since the conclusion of the oral hearing, Michael Cullen, chief executive of the Beacon Medical Group, wrote to Lakelands Residents’ Association, which lodged the objection, urging it to withdraw it.

Mr Cullen claimed the loss of the hospital would be “tragic” for the area, not least because 550 jobs would be created during construction.

The letter of objection from residents has not been withdrawn.

Sean Dineen of the residents’ association said people were fed up with the failure by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to provide a local area plan for Sandyford.

As a result, the residents had decided that until one is presented, an opinion from An Bord Pleanála would be sought on every development of more than five storeys in the area.

“We would just like An Bord Pleanála to give their comments on what is happening in Sandyford. That is all. We have nothing against a hospital,” he said.

Irish Times

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