Fortdale appeal against Balbriggan care centre withdrawn
A new primary care centre in Balbriggan, in the heart of the constituency of Minister for Health James Reilly, is set to be developed following the withdrawal of a planning appeal by a rival developer.
Last year The Irish Times revealed that Dr Reilly added Swords and Balbriggan to a priority list for primary care centres to be developed by public-private partnership (PPP). It later emerged that the Balbriggan centre is being developed on land owned by a Fine Gael supporter.
Despite appearing on the PPP list, the Balbriggan centre is being developed by lease arrangement with the developer, Rhonellen Developments, which has plans for a three-storey building.
Fortdale Developments, which has its own plans for a centre in the north Dublin town, lodged an objection with the planning board, claiming that its site was in a better location than Rhonellen’s.
Fortdale said its land was adjacent to an area designated by planners as a service point for the town and was surrounded by new housing.
Too small for use
In contrast, it claimed the Rhonellen site on Dublin Street was too small for the use proposed, that it would have to be “shoehorned” into the site with adverse consequences for neighbouring properties. However, Fortdale withdrew its appeal over the summer, leaving the way clear for Rhonellen’s plans to go ahead.
The agreement between Rhonellen and the HSE to lease the centre dates back to November 2011, HSE head of estates Jim Curran has told Sinn Féin health spokesman Caomhghín Ó Caoláin. Mr Curran said the accommodation offered satisfied the HSE’s requirement for space at a rate well below the required limit to house two primary care teams “in a very accessible location”.