Wexford County Council has granted planning permission to Slaney Clinic Ltd for the building of a €40 million private hospital at Carricklawn on the outskirts of Wexford town.
A senior planning official who dealt with the application said the proposed development 'represents a significant investment in the provision of private medical care in County Wexford.
He described it as 'an extremely welcome development for those wishing to avail of such services where journeys to Waterford and Dublin could be avoided.'
The planner said the contemporary design of the hospital will introduce another landmark building to this area of Wexford town - the site is adjacent to Wexford General Hospital and opposite Wexford County Council and the Department of the Environment.
He noted that the design is of a high modern standard and the street level height can easily be accommodated on such a wide thoroughfare.
Go-ahead was given for the construction of a five-storey high block and a four-storey block connected by a four-storey curved link entrance with on-site patient and staff car parking.
The building will incorporate 24 consultant rooms, operating theatres, aftercare rooms, general offices and examination rooms (ultrasound, physiotherapy, cardiology, mammography etc) with a pharmacy and staff area at ground floor level.
The directors of Slaney Clinic are Suhail Khan and Mark Mulhern, consultant doctors who have been working on the project for the past two years.
A report on the application was received from the Environmental Health Service of HSE South noting that the plan is for a hospital carrying out day procedures and will include facilities for surgery, x-ray, medical tests and consultations.
The HSE said it is important that the operation of nearby Wexford General Hospital is not compromised in any way and communication between the developers and hospital staff should be maintained throughout the building work.
'The EHS have concerns about the impact that construction activity might have on food businesses (in the general hospital and Wexford County Council) and any restriction on access to Wexford General Hospital during the construction phase as well as local residents and offices.'
'Wexford General Hospital is one of the largest food premises in County Wexford and servces a very vulnerable populations.'
The EHS also raised questions about the impact of construction noise in different parts of the hospital and called for a construction management plan.
A local resident made a submission expressing concern about the height of the building and the danger of overlooking as well as noise from the car park at night and an increase in traffic on the Old Hospital Road as well as light pollution.
The County Council imposed conditions on the permission including that the developers pay planning levies of €40,915.20 towards public roads and €27,276.80 towards community facilities.
The entrance and exit of the building must be restricted to a left hand turn only with signage to indicate this.
Site development and building works must be carried out between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays with no work on Sundays and public holidays.
Before work starts, a tree survey must be carried out showing clearly what trees are to be retained and removed. The entire eastern, northern and western boundaries of the site must be retained.
A landscaping scheme must be carried out within 12 months from the date when any building is occupied.
Details of additional landscaping on the eastern boundary with a neighbouring dwelling must be submitted in writing to the planning authority.
At the outset, the developer must obtain the written agreement of the planning authority on a plan to manage waste, particularly medical and hazardous waste and recyclable materials, including provision for the storage and separation of waste on the site.