Monday 12 September 2011

Council seeks damages over parking fee losses

DUBLIN CITY Council is seeking compensation from the State for the loss of more than €200,000 a year in on-street parking fees resulting from the development of the new national children’s hospital.

A planning application for the new children’s hospital on the site of Dublin’s Mater hospital was submitted to An Bord Pleanála last July.

The city council, as the planning authority for the area in which the €650 million project would be situated, is required to make a submission setting out its views on the effects of the development on the surrounding area.

The submission, which will be presented to councillors tonight, is broadly supportive of the development, but it raises concerns about its impact on the architectural heritage of Georgian Dublin, potential increases in traffic and the loss of revenue to the council.

The development requires the permanent removal of 54 pay-and-display parking spaces from Eccles Street, the effect of which will be to remove public parking from the street, where the council, as the road authority for the city, gets the revenue, to the hospital car park, it said.

“Based on current pay and display usage, the financial loss to the Road Authority for the construction period (four years) shall be €1.2 million. In addition the financial loss to the city for the permanent loss of the 54 spaces is approximately €205,000 per annum.”

The council would need to have €4 million on deposit at an interest rate of 5 per cent to make up for such a loss. As the road authority for the area, it said it will need to be compensated for the loss, although the exact level of compensation is not detailed in its submission.

“The Road Authority requires remuneration for the financial losses proposed from the removal of on-street pay-and-display parking. Prior to commencement of development exact details of this sum shall be agreed in writing with the Road Authority.”

The development, which is up to 16 storeys in height, would have a considerable adverse effect on the surrounding Georgian streets, the council said.

It would have a “particular adverse impact” on Eccles Street, Berkeley Street, Mountjoy Street, Nelson Street and the North Circular Road. It would also “detract greatly” from the north Georgian core sites of Georgian core sites, such as St George’s church, Henrietta Street, Belvedere House and North Great George’s Street and Mountjoy Square.

The submission also notes that that traffic associated with the development would be higher than average because a significant portion of children will be driven to the hospital by parents.

“It is noted that on average across the day, the children’s hospital trip rates are approximately 83 per cent higher than those for an adult hospital.”

The existing road network surrounding the Mater hospital site is heavily congested during peak periods, the council said. However, it said that during peak hours, most trips would be by staff.

During the off-peak period, traffic conditions in the inner city, and on the main routes radiating out from the central area, generally improve, thereby yielding lower journey times to the new hospital, it said.

“The site is located in one of the most accessible locations in the city, if not the country,” the submission said.

Irish Times

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