A GROUP of GPs, in conjunction with a developer in Killarney, have been granted retention permission for surgeries in a commercial/ office development into which they have moved.
Strict conditions have, however, been laid down which stipulate the permission relates to a medical centre for a specified number of GP practices at the Gateway building at the northern entrance to Killarney and not to a primary care centre. This may have implications for the development of a primary care-type centre in the tower blocks with satellite services from visiting consultants.
The doctors were forced to seek retention permission for change of use of blocks one and two after pharmacists in Killarney asked An Bord Pleanála to rule on the matter. There has been division in the town between the doctors and the pharmacists over the move by the GPs from other locations.
The pharmacists, who object to the concentration of GPs in one centre, had asked An Bord Pleanála whether the town council’s decision to allow a major medical centre and a pharmacy into the building, originally planned for offices and commerce, needed permission.
The board ruled it did. The pharmacists were also concerned that the centre held two pharmacies and about the threat to their businesses in the town. The 105,000sq ft Reeks Gateway was built by Sundays Well Properties Ltd at the height of the boom. The tower blocks were never fully occupied.