Tallaght offer for children's hospital


A PROPOSAL to build the new national children’s hospital in Tallaght has been formally submitted by Tallaght hospital and South Dublin County Council.

The council has offered to make available a team of senior officials to work with the national children’s hospital design team in the pre-planning process.

The original plan for the children’s hospital at the Mater site failed in February when An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for the development. It said its height, bulk, scale and mass would have a “profound negative impact” on Dublin’s skyline.

Since then, more than 15 proposals for alternative sites have been made. Last month Minister for Health James Reilly appointed a review group to examine the proposals. He said the group would advise the Government on “the most expeditious way of getting the hospital built”.

The Tallaght proposal, which has now been lodged with the review group, is for a publicly owned site adjacent to the existing Tallaght hospital facility.

Eilísh Hardiman, chief executive of Tallaght hospital, said the proposal envisaged “an overarching campus governance arrangement”. This would allow for separately governed hospitals in the Tallaght medical quarter with state-of-the-art and patient-friendly children’s, maternity and adult hospital facilities, she said.

South Dublin County Council manager Philomena Poole said the proposal offered a value-for-money opportunity “from a healthcare planning, urban planning and timescale perspective”.

The proposed site is in public ownership and stretches over 6.5 hectares (16 acres) “with excellent access and strong public transport options”.

Earlier this week, the Broadmeadow Healthcare Group proposed a 50-acre greenfield site at Lissenhall, Swords, as a site for the children’s hospital and said it could be built by 2016 for less than the €650 million budget. Earlier this month, developer Flynn and O’Flaherty offered an eight-acre (3.23 hectare) site on Navan Road, free of charge, for the hospital.

Some time ago, solicitor and developer Noel Smyth offered a free site off the Naas Road, at Newlands Cross, which would also be close to Tallaght hospital.

The Coombe hospital has put forward a plan for a 20.5 acre site, off the South Circular Road.

Other sites offered for consideration include the former Irish Glass Bottle Company site in Ringsend, Elm Park on Merrion Road and Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

A redesign of the original Mater plan is being supported by three hospitals: the Mater, the Rotunda and Temple Street children’s hospital. The redesign involves a reduction in height and density.