Council ‘withheld information over plans for private hospital’

THE Cork engineer who has appealed the decision of Limerick County Council to grant permission for a €100 million private hospital in Adare, yesterday accused the council of withholding information from him.

John V Lennon, of consulting engineers John Lennon and Co, is the sole objector to the hospital which the owner of Adare Manor, Tom Kane, wants to build on a 35-acre site within the manor grounds.

Mr Lennon said he had lodged the objections to An Bord Pleanála on his own behalf and was not acting on the instructions of any third party.

He said he had taken this action to protect his own integrity as a person who gives professional advice on planning matters.

Mr Lennon said Limerick County Council went against their own planning policy in giving the developers of the Adare Hospital permission to build a temporary waste water treatment plant.

Mr Lennon said the council had also flouted National Roads Authority (NRA) regulations by allowing an access road before the Adare bypass is completed to a national primary route.

Mr Lennon said the council received a letter from the NRA advising them that they were not complying with their guidelines.

Mr Lennon said: “They tried to conceal this letter from me as an objector by not informing me that they had received this document. I, as an objector, have to be kept informed at all stages.”

Mr Lennon said he only discovered the letter when he went to the council headquarters in Dooradoyle to inspect the file.

Mr Lennon said that two days after the council received his last letter on the matter, the council gave planning permission.

“They won’t insult me like that and get away with it. This is not personal. I couldn’t care if they built ten hospitals in Adare. There is a serious planning principle involved here,” he said.

Limerick County Council granted planning permission to Adare Partners on May 19.

Dr Ed Walsh, former president of the University of Limerick who is a member of the hospital steering committee, said the hospital had got enthusiastic support from the people of Adare.

He said: “It is disappointing that an appeal has been lodged against the hospital, but it is not surprising.”

The planning approval included 18 conditions for the 100-bed facility.

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