€40m lost on failed Mater plan for national children’s hospital

Financial statements for National Paediatric Hospital Development Board confirm most of money spent on original site bid will be written off

The Mater hospital, Dublin, which was rejected by An Bord Pleanála as a suitable site for the national children’s hospital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Mater hospital, Dublin, which was rejected by An Bord Pleanála as a suitable site for the national children’s hospital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Most of the €40 million spent on developing the new national children’s hospital at the Mater site in Dublin will be written off, it has been confirmed.

The Government moved the project to St James’s Hospital after An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission at the Mater, but by then significant costs had been incurred in drawing up plans for the hospital.

The 2012 financial statements for the board developing the project at the Mater, just published, say it is likely assets valued at €40 million “are now impaired”.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board has begun a review of this impairment, according to the statements. “This exercise has not yet been completed and as a result, there is uncertainty around the value of the assets.”

‘Some’ costs recouped

Last night, a spokesman for the project said “some” costs incurred at the Mater would be recouped. He said a process was under way involving the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Department of Public Expenditure to resolve the issue, but it wasn’t yet complete.

The €40 million in costs includes €24.5 million for the business services team, €3.2 million for project management and €6.1 million for the integrated design team.

Another €6.1 million in administration and other costs were incurred. This sum included €1.6 million in planning expenses, €878,000 in legal expenses, €200,000 spent on communications and €132,000 in board fees.

A board has been appointed to develop the €650 million hospital at St James’s, while another board has responsibility for amalgamating the existing three children’s hospitals in Dublin.