€35 million lost in move of site of new children’s hospital

Site at St James’s is three times the size of site earmarked at Mater

Dáil Public Accounts Committee told  the budget for developing the new children’s hospital was €650 million. File photograph: EPA

Dáil Public Accounts Committee told the budget for developing the new children’s hospital was €650 million. File photograph: EPA

 

About €35 million in State funding which was spent on the development of the planned national children’s hospital has been written off, the Dáil Public Accounts Committee was told yesterday.

John Pollack, project director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, said about €6 million spent on services for the project when it was earmarked to be built at the Mater hospital site can still be used following the decision to move it to St James’s Hospital.

However, he said the remainder of the money which was spent in areas such as design and planning services was now considered as “impaired”.

The Government decided the new children’s hospital should be developed at St James’s after An Bord Pleanála rejected a planning application for the project on a site at the Mater. Mr Pollack said the budget for developing the new children’s hospital was €650 million.

He said the site at St James’s amounted to 12 acres, three times the size of the site that had been earmarked at the Mater. He said the development board had stress-tested the site and believed a maternity hospital could be developed there in the future.

“A planning application for the main children’s hospital and both satellite centres (to be developed at Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital) is scheduled to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in June 2015 and subject to a positive decision, construction will commence in early 2016,” he said.

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