A €10 million nursing home will be built in Wexford town if Wexford County Council grant planning permission.
Last week Fergus Flanagan Architects submitted a planning application to the council for a 78-bedroom nursing home at Glenville House in Coolcotts.
The application on behalf of Transnational Acquisitions Hitasi Ltd also looks for amendments to the existing office building at Glenville House which is a protected structure.
In addition the planning application includes a request for outline permission for the construction of six two storey houses, associated site works including internal roadways, footpaths, lighting, public open spaces, changes to the vehicular entrance, associated boundary treatments, landscaping, draining and all other works required to facilitate the development..
In order build the nursing home some outbuilding need to be demolished and the application looked for permission for the demolition of two existing outbuildings, and an existing conservatory. The final element of the permission is for storm and foul draining works including new connection to public mains drainage including new pumping station and all associated site works.
The architect in charge of the design, Fergus Flanagan, said that the owners expect that the nursing home will have a very positive effect on overcrowding at Wexford General Hospital.
'The nursing home will be built at Glenville House which has been empty for around ten years getting more and more dilapidated each year. Our clients chose this area for the nursing home because of the historical nature of the building and the secluded location. There is also a river at the end which is an attractive feature.
'Many existing nursing homes have disappointing day rooms which are often small and it was something that my clients wanted to address. The new nursing home will revolve around the gardens and all rooms are designed around a courtyard.
'We wanted to give the residents dignity and obviously take the security issues which will be required for some residents into account. We created something that can open up the rooms to the courtyard gardens but residents can't just wander off.
'The rooms are wrapped around a central courtyard and the day rooms around the gardens.
'My clients fully believe that this nursing home, when built, will have a massive impact on Wexford General Hospital. A number of people that are in Wexford General are in need of respite rather than actual treatment but have nowhere to go because they are not well enough yet to go home. This nursing home will offer that option which should free up beds in the hospital. Given that Glenville House is in such close proximity to the hospital they believe that it will have a very positive impact on the hospital. There will also be a good knock on effect in terms of hotels etc as relatives come to Wexford to visit a family member at the nursing home. '
Fergus said he expects the nursing home will offer both long and short stay options including respite but said that will be market driven.
Transnational Acquisitions Hitasi Ltd is an international company who will finance the building of the nursing home and Fergus said he expects, that when built, they will bring in a company to manage the home.
With vast experience designing nursing homes in Germany and the UK Fergus was an obvious choice for Transnational Acquisitions Hitasi who wanted to do something different to the traditional nursing home model.
All the rooms, which will be a mix of single and double rooms, will be en-suite and there will also be a coffee area where family can enjoy light refreshments with a relative while visiting Glenville House.
Fergus said he expects that if Wexford County Council give the project the green light work will begin on site as soon as possible.
Glenville House itself currently has 'a horrible plastic conservatory at the back' which Fergus plans to remove. Once removed a simple but elegant glass corridor will link the existing house to the new nursing home. Glenville House itself will be used as offices to deal with the administrative side of the business.
He said that while the listed building has been empty for a number of years there is not a lot of work needed on the exterior to bring it up to scratch.
'Very light work is needed to bring it back to life. It's in fairly good nick outside and it was previously been used as offices so it just needs some updating internally. We will only touch the protected building very lightly. The majority of the work will be done behind it building the new nursing home.'
The whole project which is expected to be in the region of €10million will take at least a year to complete according to Fergus.
'I'd say it will definitely cost €10 million to get it built. It's a massive project and is great news for Wexford. In addition to the rooms there will treatment rooms, a shop, healthcare area, different and spacious day rooms and other facilities.
'When designing it we had to look at the range of needs the various residents will have and how to integrate them together. We also liaised with the fire department and had a detailed pre-planning meeting with Wexford County Council.
'The kitchen will be in the basement of the building with dumb waiters which will bring the food to the large dining hall. The top of the building will be full of glass. There will also be an impressive entrance.'
The new nursing home at Glenville is designed so that all visitors enter the café area. The café area will overlook the south facing gardens which are located between the living blocks. The blocks are divided into smaller blocks and sub-divided to ensure that at any time a block can be evacuated in case of a fire or that some patients are controlled from walking out of the nursing home but still feel free to walk in external garden space.
During the construction only one existing outbuilding and a small store, both of which are in very bad repair will be removed while it is hoped that the remaining outbuildings can be retained and possibly reinstated at some point in the near future.