Re: Re: Developments in Cork

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Sunday Business Post;
Martin raises concerns about planned co-located Cork hospital

24 February 2008
By Susan Mitchell
Enterprise minister Micheal Martin has written to planners in Cork raising ‘‘serious concerns’’ about the proposed €250 million co-located private hospital in Bishopstown, even though the development is part of government policy.

In a letter to Kevin Terry, director of planning with Cork City Council, Martin said his view was that ‘‘the proposed plan is unsustainable’’ because of traffic congestion and the density of development on the hospital site. The letter was copied to Joe Gavin, the Cork city manager.

The letter, which has been seen by The Sunday Business Post, was written on official paper from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

In it, Martin, who was Minister for Health from 2000 to 2004, said local residents were ‘‘extremely concerned about the proposed development and the consequences of such a development on their residential amenity’’.

Martin said the residents felt development of the 175-bed hospital on the Cork University Hospital campus would ‘‘undermine their privacy and reduce their access to light’’. The traffic situation ‘‘is compounded by the continued expansion of CIT and UCC combined’’, he said.

Michael Cullen, chief executive of Beacon Medical Group, which is proposing to build the hospital, said he was disappointed that the minister was not supporting government policy of locating private hospitals beside existing public hospitals. He said the hospital project would create 500 direct jobs and 800 indirect jobs.

Cullen said he believed the mobility management plan for the proposed hospital provided a ‘‘viable solution’’ to traffic concerns. He said the benefits to the economy far outweighed any traffic concerns.

© Thomas Crosbie Media, 2008

:confused:Anyone can make a submission on a planning matter BUT on official Government headed paper!!. Could this be classed as political interference in the planning process?

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