Tuesday 6 December 2016

Children's hospital hearing: board maintain St James' site is best

Emma-Jane Hade

Published 15/12/2015 | 19:48

A model of the new children's hospital that was made in August
A model of the new children's hospital that was made in August

The board for the proposed new children’s hospital maintains that the site at St James’ in Dublin city centre will result in “better clinical outcomes and increased operational efficiency”.

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They said this during their closing statement at the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the proposed development in Dublin earlier today.

The hearing, which has been running for almost three weeks, drew to a conclusion this evening after hearing submissions from medical experts, engineers, doctors, parents and charity advocates.

“The proposed New Children’s Hospital development will result in better clinical outcomes and increased operational efficiency, as well as significantly enhancing the experience of services for children, young people and their families and staff,” a representative for the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB)  told the hearing.

“There is a compelling case for granting permission for a new children’s hospital development which will radically improve clinical outcomes for the children and young people of Ireland, and the NPHDB commends the application for permission in respect of the new children’s hospital to the board for its favourable consideration.”

The oral hearing also heard closing submissions from children’s advocates, including a submission from Eamonn Prenter on behalf of charity, the ‘Jack and Jill Foundation’.

He told the hearing that there are “a number of significant adverse impacts” which indicate that the proposal is “inconsistent with the proper planning and sustainable development of the site and the area”.

He also accused the applicants of not responding to all objections and observations in a “forensic manner”. 

“We feel that this has failed to materialise over the course of the hearing and that the overwhelming empirical and detailed evidence presented at the hearing has come from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

“For this and the various reasons stated above we believe that the case for the proposed development has not been proven and that planning permission should be refused consistent with the preservation of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” he added.

Other submissions made to the board on the final day of the hearing came from members of the public and residents who raised concerns about issues which may arise from the construction project and the size of the car parking spaces on site.       

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