herald

Friday 17 August 2018

City demands millions over lost parking

CITY bosses are looking for substantial compensation from the Exchequer relating to the construction of the National Children's Hospital.

Dublin City Council has said it will lose revenue from 54 on-street parking places as a result of the development of the facility on the grounds of the Mater.

It equates to income of €205,000 a year, the local authority argued. It made its case in a submission to An Bord Pleanala on a planning application for the €650m hospital.

The pay-and-display parking spaces will be permanently removed from Eccles Street in the north inner city when the project goes ahead.

The council said it will also suffer a financial loss from parking revenue of €1.2m during the four-year construction phase for the hospital.

While it does not detail the precise amount of compensation it is seeking, the local authority makes a case for it to be in the millions of euro.

Health Minister James Reilly confirmed last July that the Mater would be the location of the children's hospital.



Problems

The recommendation was made in an expert report which he commissioned and it paved the way for the planning application to be submitted. The site had been at the centre of a row, with claims it would leave visitors with access problems.

When completed, the new facility will lead to the closure of the three existing children's hospitals.

The review team was appointed in April and included a group of chief executives of children's hospitals in the US, Australia and Britain as well as a financial review of the plan.

In 2006, the last government decided to accept the recommendations of a task force, which also recommended the Mater site as the best location.

However, after that decision, opponents raised concerns about access for parents and children, parking and the suitability of a high rise facility for children in the city.

The 445-bed facility is due to cost €650m and is to open in 2015. In its submission on the planning application, the city council said the 16-storey high development will have an impact on the surrounding Georgian streets.

comurphy@herald.ie

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