PLANS for a private hospital in the grounds of a Limerick hospital face further delays following An Bord Pleanála’s decision to reinstate an appeal originally deemed to be invalid.
Limerick County Council last June granted planning permission to the Beacon Medical Group to build a 25,000sq m hospital despite a number of objections.
Beacon has stated that more than 400 people would be directly employed at the co-located hospital at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, which will be able to cater for 183 patients and will have a wide range of facilities, including six operating theatres.
The planning permission was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Tom O’Donoghue from Dromineer, Co Tipperary.
In August his appeal was ruled to be invalid by An Bord Pleanála, paving the way for the €250 million development to proceed.
But An Bord Pleanála has informed Beacon Medical Group and Mr O’Donoghue that it has decided to reinstate the appeal after Mr O’Donoghue initiated judicial review proceedings in the High Court.
Mr O’Donoghue argued that his appeal was declared invalid because he had received incorrect correspondence from planners at Limerick County Council.
Welcoming the U-turn yesterday, Mr O’Donoghue said: “It was all I was looking for in the first place and because I felt so strongly about it I decided to initiate High Court proceedings.”
Beacon Medical Group commercial director Pauline Cullen said the reinstatement was disappointing.
“In this economic climate, to stop the development of a €250m hospital which is going to serve patients and create jobs is a tragedy. We are fully committed to this project.”
Ms Cullen said Beacon Medical Group would contest Mr O’Donoghue’s appeal.
A spokesman for the Health Service Executive would not comment, other than saying: “That is a matter for the planning process.”
A decision on Mr O’Donoghue’s appeal is not expected until early next year.
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