Centre fails to get the nod

by Ian Begley

SOUTH Dublin County Council has refused planning permission for the proposed €5m primary care centre at Ballyowen Castle.
Many residents and local officials previously raised concerns over the proposed health centre in Lucan and lodged objections with the local authority over its development.
Concerns at the scale of its build and the impact it may have on amenities were raised along with fears of increased traffic congestion around Lucan.
Proposals for the €5m 2,900 sq m, four-storey centre were lodged in January by Ballyowen Castle Primary Care Centre Ltd.
When built, the care centre was expected to provide the people of Lucan with a multi-million euro facility that would include a full range of medical services: GP, nursing, dental, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, counselling, occupational therapy, dietician and psychology.
In the past three years contracts for the primary care centre were signed and pre-planning consultation meetings have taken place with South Dublin County Council.
In a submission earlier this year, the HSE said the proposed site was an appropriate location and that it had reached an agreement with the developer to lease facilities on their completion.
The site was scheduled to be located at the corner of Ballyowen Lane Castle Road and with the centre set to be at an existing retail car park, residents’ feared parking spaces for customer’s would be restricted.
The council found that “the layout, height, bulk and scale of the proposed development would have significant negative impact to the residential amenities of properties in the vicinity; and would not, therefore, be acceptable.
“While the development of a primary health care centre at this location may be acceptable in principle there are several issues which require clarity by way of further information in order to allow a full assessment of the proposed development.”
Regarding the parking issue, the council said: “While it is noted that there are car parking standards in the current development plan for clinic rooms, retail space and office space there is no car parking standard for a health centre.
“It is considered that the proposed development would have inadequate car parking provision which would result in significant on-street parking which would cause traffic congestion and obstruction of road users of roads within the area.”
Lucan’s Cllr William Lavelle (FG), who repeatedly objected to this application, told The Gazette that he was calling on the HSE to invest in upgrading the health centre at Dispensary Lane in Lucan village and to continue to develop HSE services at Rosse Court.
He added: “The reasons for refusal are not surprising; and were all addressed in my objection.”
Cllr Paul Gogarty (Ind) also expressed his relief at the council’s decision. He said: “It is a welcome decision on the overdevelopment of the existing site. Glad my views and those of others taken on board.”
The council planners’ report regarding its reasons for opposing the Ballyowen Primary Care Centre’s application is available at www.sdublincoco.ie.

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