Plan for town centre primary care facility attracts objections

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A DECISION on a proposed new multi-million euro primary health care centre in Newcastle West, which has attracted objections from local residents, has been delayed.

A DECISION on a proposed new multi-million euro primary health care centre in Newcastle West, which has attracted objections from local residents, has been delayed.

Limerick County Council had been scheduled to make a decision last week on the plans by the Cullens Field Partnership to build a multi-storey health centre on a site between Upper Maiden Street, Assumpta Park and the Market Yard.

However the proposal, which has attracted objections from Assumpta Park residents, will now be delayed by up to six months after council planners sought further information.

The new health centre is the latest attempt by the Cullens Field partnership to develop the plot – in late 2008 and early 2009 it had sought permission to construct two-storey retail and office units on the site. However these plans did not proceed.

The proposed health care centre, if it goes ahead, will comprise a number of GP consultation rooms, wound treatment facilities and a HSE office over four levels. The plans would also see the “reorientation” of the existing car park for Garvey’s SuperValu in the Market Yard, which is adjacent to the proposed development site.

However some residents of nearby Assumpta Park have lodged objections to the plans, particularly in relation to a public right of way which already exists on site, as well as fears over potential “safety and traffic hazards” in the area.

Likewise, there are objections lodged on the grounds that the development will create further access points into Assumpta Park, something which goes against recent tradition which has been to restrict access to the estate on anti-social behaviour grounds. The objection cites the installation of a time-locked gate at the entrance to the Mass Path between Assumpta Park and Maiden Street as an example of this.

The directors of the Cullens Field Partnership, as listed on the planning file, are Mark Corkery, Denis Murphy, Jason Quirke and James Quirke. The company has a registered address at Beechgrove House. Strand Road, Tralee.

Enclosed with the planning documents is a letter from An Taisce, which outlines that the Cullens Field Partnership’s application “reinforces town centre function” in Newcastle West, while there is also a letter from the Garvey Group, which owns the land, giving permission for the development to proceed.

In an attached document issued to the applicants last week, the county council planning office outlined its request for clarification and further information on a number of issues, including the internal layout of the building, and proposed access to the facility via the remodelled car park.

The council has also sought clarity on the full ownership of the development land.