Friday 13 August 2010

Approval for €160m Dublin hospital

AN BORD Pleanála has upheld planning permission for a new €160 million women’s and children’s hospital in south Dublin, which is expected to create 450 jobs.

The 120-bed facility adjacent to the UPMC Beacon Hospital will be built by Landmark Developments for the Beacon Medical Group.

It will be privately operated but “may be accessed by both publicly and privately insured patients”, the group said.

A spokesman for Landmark and BMG said the group was pleased permission had been granted for this “urgently needed” project. He said the hospital would bring “enormous benefits to the region, particularly in the south Dublin/Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area and nationally”.

It would create jobs for 450 people with 650 ancillary jobs. Some 550 people will be employed in the construction phase.

The hospital will provide paediatric, maternity and gynaecology services, with six delivery rooms, 12 neonatal intensive care and special care beds, four theatres, 30 day care beds, eight urgent care beds and 16 consultant/general clinical suites.

There will be 24 hour obstetrician, neo-natal and anaesthesia coverage. It said the population of 2.1 million within the hospital’s proposed catchment area would grow to 2.5 million in the next 10 years, of which some 27 per cent would be under the age of 19.

The hospital group said that in 2006 there were 64,237 births in Ireland, of which between 50 and 55 per cent were private. It predicted there would be up to 20,000 private births in its catchment area each year.

The group said the hospital would be happy to enter an agreement with the HSE “to alleviate the present and future capacity issues that are evident in the system”.

The group has been seeking to build the hospital for some 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. When these issues were resolved, planning was granted for the development 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. 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.

Irish Times

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