herald

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Park hospital site could save €210m, claim developers

A NEW site for the National Children's Hospital at the Phoenix Park could save €210m on the original plan, developers claim.

The eight-acre site at the racecourse in the park has been offered for free and already has planning permission for a hospital.

The plan to create a centre of excellence for treating children in Ireland has been plagued with delays.

The grand scale of the Mater site was dismissed by planners because it was too high for the city-centre skyline.

The huge budget required for the hospital development has also caused objections from commentators.



Rejected

Property development company Flynn and O'Flaherty said that building the hospital at the racecourse would cost €440m as opposed to the figure of €650m for the proposed but rejected Mater hospital development.

The area is already serviced by a suburban rail station and a bus corridor with eight routes as well as being located beside the M5 motorway and N3 Navan Road.

The original scheme was turned down by An Bord Pleanala in February but the Government has insisted that this is its preferred location.

A slew of alternative proposals have already been put forward including an area near St James's hospital and the Coombe, a greenfield site near Dublin airport and one near the Red Cow roundabout, as well as a revised development at the Mater hospital.

The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, also revealed how NAMA had identified 11 possible sites.

Denis Doherty from developers Flynn & Flaherty said that the Phoenix Park site would be preferable because of transport links and leisure facilities -- the park and the zoo are on its doorstep.

"Delivering the National Children's Hospital on this site, with the huge cost savings and without the physical constraints of a city-centre site, when coupled with its accessibility, supporting facilities and existing environment, must warrant serious consideration by the review group and the minister," he said.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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