Thursday 21 November 2019

Revised application for Arklow Primary Care Centre lodged

A revised planning application has been submitted by the developers of the long-awaited Arklow Primary Health Centre.

Plans for the centre appeared to be back on track over the summer after a new developer had taken over the stalled project. However, Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady said correspondence received from the HSE confirmed the new purchasers of the site had lodged a revised planning application on Friday, November 1.

'Unfortunately the delivery of the badly needed Arklow Primary Health Centre is kicked down the road further,' Deputy Brady said. 'I have been informed by the HSE that a review of the existing building design and planning conditions is under way with the purchaser of the Arklow site and a new planning application has been submitted to Wicklow County Council on Friday, November 1.'

Wicklow County Council granted permission for the Arklow Primary Health Centre, on the site of the former Bolands Building Providers in Castle Park, in December 2018.

The Arklow project stalled earlier in the year after the previous developer hired by the HSE to build it, Action Health Enterprises, decided not to go ahead with the project.

In July, Esmonde Developments Ltd confirmed to the Wicklow People that they were taking over the development, having submitted an application for a temporary wastewater treatment plant for the centre. At the time, the HSE confirmed a review of the Arklow development was under way with the new developer.

The application for the temporary wastewater treatment plant was subsequently withdrawn by the developer in July.

Deputy Brady continued: 'There was complete shock in Arklow in April when it was announced that Action Health Enterprises were not going to proceed with the development of the Primary Care Centre in the town.

He added that 'no reasons have been given why this review was needed and why they could not proceed with the development' with the existing planning permission.

'I still have concerns that the massive cost overruns in the development of the National Children's Hospital are the reason why these reviews are taking place and being used as a delaying tactic.

'The use of Public Private Partnerships has let the people of Arklow down as this process led to the first major delays on the project. The Minister for Health must now come clean and explain to the people of Arklow why the delivery of their Primary Health Care Centre has been kicked further down the road,' said Deputy Brady.

However, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, welcomed the news that a revised planning application had been submitted.

'I've kept in touch with it all along the way and an amended planning has gone in. I've no issue with the amended application and will be supporting it. At times, you have to change the planning application to meet the circumstances and that's what happens here. There is no deliberate delay on anyone's part and I welcome that the application has been lodged again. I 100 per cent support this project,' Cllr Fitzgerald said.

Wicklow People