Monday 23 October 2017

HSE considering new tenders for dialysis unit

Planning permission was granted in December for this unit on a greenfield site at Sinnottstown Lane in Drinagh
Planning permission was granted in December for this unit on a greenfield site at Sinnottstown Lane in Drinagh

Maria Pepper

The HSE is now considering new tenders for a dialysis unit in Wexford after An Bord Pleanala upheld a council decision to refuse planning permission to Fresenius Medical Care Ltd for a centre in the old Acorn Fashions building in Whitemill.

Acting on legal advice, the health executive opened a fresh tender process at the end of November in parallel with the planning appeal and the closing date was yesterday (Monday) January 23, it was confirmed.

'It was agreed that the HSE should proceed with a supplementary tender as a contingency plan in order to minimise further delays in the event of the planning appeal being unsuccessful,' said a spokesman.

'The current tendering process will now proceed to conclusion and it can be expected that a solution for a satellite dialysis unit in Wexford will be in place early in 2018,' he added.

It is not known how many tenders were received this time around but B. Braun Avitum Ltd, a runner-up in the original tendering process, which lost out to Fresenius last year, is among them.

The company is well-placed to win the contract as it was granted planning permission by Wexford County Council at the end of December for a dialysis unit on a greenfield site in Sinnottstown Lane, Drinagh.

In a statement issued last Friday, the HSE said Fresenius had been nominated as the successful tenderer following a public competition and at the time this project was being evaluated, it was clarified that the proposed location (on Whitemill Industrial Estate) was located in an area of mixed business use.

Fresenius sought planning permission which was refused by Wexford County Council last August on the grounds that the site is on industrially zoned land in a long-established industrial estate.

According to planners, the development would have resulted in the loss of industrial floor space and would have a sterilisation effect on the adjoining industrial lands and would undermine the use of the land for industry/manufacturing and the development of a waste recycling centre.

In granting planning permission to B. Braun, senior planner Diarmuid Houston said a renal dialysis unit would be acceptable at the Drinagh location and would not negatively impact on existing uses within the area which is zoned for bulky goods retailing.

'The proposed development would not seriously injure the amenity of the area and would therefore be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,' he concluded.

An attempt was made to contact Fresenius for a reaction to the latest development but there was no response.

Enniscorthy Guardian