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An Bord Pleanala go batty over plans for city hospital

OPPONENTS of Mary Harney's hospital co-location policy think the plan is batty -- and An Bord Pleanala appears to agree.

The planning board has stipulated the developer behind a proposed €250m private hospital in the grounds of St James's incorporate 'bat roosts' in to the scheme.

The planners said the roosts must be incorporated in to the site and the recommendation of the bat assessment report has to be carried out on the site.

An appeal to An Bord Pleanala had been lodged against the decision by Dublin City Council to grant permission for the new 196-bed hospital.

The unit will employ 400 people in the construction phase and 545 staff members to run the facility.


A 19th-century chapel on the grounds of St James' is to be knocked down to facilitate the ambitious new project.

This aspect of the plans led to massive opposition in the local community and gave rise to many of the appeals.

Heritage body An Taisce, along with dozens of local residents and politicians, had opposed the demolition.

The organisation said: "The chapel is a good quality gothic revival-style building, constructed in granite with brick dressings and is one of the few historic buildings remaining in the St James' hospital complex."

It added that "poor regard" is being shown "for the heritage, culture and collective memory of the Dublin 8 area" by seeking to knock down the building.

The chapel is not on the list of protected structures.