Monday 25 July 2011

Children's hospital application lodged with Bord Pleanála

PLAN DETAILS: A PLANNING application for the national children’s hospital on the site of Dublin’s Mater hospital has been submitted to An Bord Pleanála with a public consultation set to run until mid-September.

The application has been made despite the fact the Government will not make a final decision on proceeding with the €650 million project until a review of capital spending projects is finished in September.

Eilish Hardiman, head of the National Children’s Hospital Development Board, said the submission marked a “special day for the project”.

She said if it is given the green light and opens by late 2016 as planned the cost benefits will quickly become apparent. “It is in the programme for government and the business case for the hospital is robust,” she said. “If the investment is not made in the national children’s hospital then it will have to be made in the existing children’s hospitals anyway.”

She said the board was eager to put the project out to tender to take advantage of competitive rates in the construction sector and expressed the hope that costs may fall as a result. She stressed there had been “no change in the overall scale of the building” despite cutbacks.

The board carried out an extensive consultation process in developing plans and engaged health architectural consultants O’Connell Mahon and NBBJ, in the proposed design. The project team also engaged with representatives from each of the three children’s hospitals, particularly on internal layout. They met children and families, patient support groups, locals, conservation and heritage bodies, and members of the wider medical community.

The hospital will be able to accommodate clinical facilities for the provision of tertiary and secondary paediatric care, including 392 beds, 53 daycare beds, 13 operating theatres, overnight beds for parents and a family resource centre. The application also seeks to develop play areas, a school, external gardens and courtyards.

Ms Hardiman accepted access has been an issue “of serious consideration”. A four-lane access road along Eccles Street is proposed with a second access point to the car park on North Circular Road. There are designated traffic routes and signage, and a four-storey underground car park.

Full details are available at:

Plan details

Total floor space : 108,467sq m

Height : 16 storeys

Beds : 392

Operating theatres : 13

Gardens, courtyards and green play areas : 7,500sq m

Parking : 972 cars, 243 bicycles

Cost : €650 million

Finishing date : Late 2016

Irish Times

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