Tuesday 20 March 2018

Review group to assess new sites for children's hospital


THE group appointed to review the location of the national children's hospital will meet for the first time this week to consider alternatives to the controversial Mater site.

It's understood the group, under chairman Frank Dolphin, will consider up to 20 alternative locations for the children's facility. An Bord Pleanala turned down planning permission for the controversial Mater site, throwing the future of the project into disarray.

The alternatives include 11 sites that have come under the control of Nama. They include the former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend and an empty office block in Elm Park once owned by the one-time millionaire, Bernard McNamara.

Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, has received numerous requests to consider Mr McNamara's block, as it is beside St Vincent's Hospital in south Dublin.

A private asset management firm wrote to the minister to say that the complex already had planning consent for hospital use. F&C Reit said the 200,000 sq ft complex was originally planned for office, residential and private hospital uses.

The glass bottle site was purchased by a consortium for €412m in 2006 and is now in Nama and also represents a substantial space, close to the Luas. Other sites on Nama's list include an 11-acre site on South Circular Road and two sites around North Wall.

Other proposals -- not in Nama -- include a site near Heuston Station, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and the greenfield site at Newlands Cross, offered by property developer Noel Smyth several years ago.

Sunday Independent

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