herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Mixed reactions as locals view model of Children's Hospital

Esa Cullen
Esa Cullen

Local reaction to the new Children's Hospital remains mixed as the deadline looms this week for submissions to An Bord Pleanala.

Between 10 and 20 people a day have been dropping into an information centre in Rialto where the public can view a model of the proposed new hospital, its family accommodation unit and the Children's Research and Innovation Centre.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) opened the information centre, which is manned by experts in the project.

Opinions

Phelim Devine, the design and deputy project director, said people coming in were looking for information on what would be in the building, how pedestrians get in and where the car parking is.

Hospital design co-ordinator Emma Cooney acts as a link between the architectural team and the clinical teams.

"It's important for the people on the ground to know that their opinions and experience is taken on board, because it's good to consult with people who are going to be treating the patients," she said.

Esa Cullen (29), from Rialto, who dropped into the information centre with her daughter Isabelle (2) and nieces Eva (6) and Pippa (1), said she is interested in the new hospital because she has just finished a medical administration course.

"I think it's very exciting. I think it's a great opportunity for the area. It will liven up the area - there will be a lot more people passing through, going to work, leaving work," she said.

"It will create a boom for the area. Hopefully, it will create more jobs for people around the area like myself."

Ger McCarthy (49), who lives on Rialto Street, told the Herald he was concerned about the traffic repercussions for the area arising from the proposed project.

He said the local roundabout was changed and made wider, and it was difficult for the ambulances to get around, especially during rush hour.

"It won't be very good for the largest hospital in the city to have such congestion on the main route in," he said, adding that parking was already an issue for residents from 7.30am as people park their cars and walk the five minutes to the hospital to avoid charges.

However, a few doors down from the information centre, Ericka Thompson (20), who owns the Pure Honey hair and beauty salon, said she was behind the new hospital being built on the St James's site and believes it will be good for the area in general.

"It's going to bring more people in. As far as business goes, it's good to see new people. It's the only way to build," she said.

Carmel Murphy (57), from Crumlin, also supports the plans for the new hospital.

"For people to get there, I don't see any problem. There are plenty of options from every direction to get there," she said.

Hearing

The deadline for third-party submissions to An Bord Pleanala is this Friday.

Meanwhile, the deadline for prescribed bodies that would include authorities, the Department of Health, the HSE and An Taisce is October 19.

It is likely that an oral hearing will be held in November of next year.

To date, the number of submissions to An Bord Pleanala on the project stands at 23.

At the start of August, the NPHDB submitted the planning application for the hospital as well as for the two paediatric OPD and urgent care satellite centres at Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital to An Bord Pleanala.

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