DEVELOPERS BEHIND the proposed primary care centre for Balbriggan say they are ready to apply for planning permission for the project ahead of the October 31 deadline set by the HSE.
Speaking exclusively to the Fingal Independent, AJ Noonan of Rhonellen Development Ltd said the company was ready to apply for planning permission for the project by the end of the month and were feeling 'positive' about the development. Applying for planning permission by October 31 is a condition of the HSE entering into a lease agreement on Balbriggan Primary Care Centre which may yet also house a dialysis unit to serve kidney patients in south Louth and north Fingal. Rhonellen Development Ltd are proposing to construct the new primary care centre at 66 to 70 Dublin Road, Balbriggan and the company said it is working with all the stakeholders to deliver the project. BALBRIGGAN Chamber of Commerce has thrown its weight behind plans to locate a new primary care centre in Balbriggan saying that the provision of proper healthcare facilities in the town is essential. Chamber President, Kevin Tolan, told the Fingal Independent: 'The population of Balbriggan has grown significantly in recent years, the Census figures show an increase from 10,294 in 2002 up to 19,960 in 2011 – this is almost 100 per cent increase in the space of nine years and it is important that the people of Balbriggan and surrounding areas are provided with adequate healthcare facilities. 'The closest hospitals to Balbriggan would be Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, neither of these locations have a direct public transport link to or from Balbriggan.' Mr. Tolan said: 'Presently, there is no purpose-built healthcare facility in Balbriggan and while all the housing construction took place, healthcare investment was ignored. 'At present, public healthcare is provided by the medical centre which was formally a public house and is far too small to cope with the existing population. There is also a makeshift clinic on designated days in St. George's Hall, which was formally a school.' The chamber president also welcomed the employment opportunities such a facility would bring to the town and said the population of the town deserved a primary care centre. On the national controversy surrounding the project, Mr. Tolan said: 'It is unfortunate that Balbriggan's name has been used as a 'political football' in recent weeks. 'It should be remembered that in 2007, Balbriggan was identified by the previous Government as being a necessary location for a primary care centre. As the Census figures show, in 2012, the need is now greater. 'Minister for Health, James Reilly, has thankfully continued to recognise the need in Balbriggan for a primary care centre for Balbriggan, and the sooner it arrives the better, for the Balbriggan area and its population.'