Plans to construct a €2.5 million health centre for Dunfanaghy has been found to be at variance with the official policy of Transport Infrastructure Ireland in regard to access onto the N56 in the townland of Kill.
Local residents on this part of the N56 have said that in recent years say the road has been ‘a no go’ area for housing construction with a high level of planning rejections based on safety fears about additional access and an increase in traffic in this area
TII in correspondence to Donegal County Council on November 29th said the proposed development by itself, would adversely affect the operation and safety of the national road network.
They put forward their national policy guidelines to substantiate their views including frontage onto developments on national roads.
Today’s Tir Chonaill Tribune reports that a number of applicants on the N56 in the vicinity of the proposed health centre have already had applications for private houses rejected and they are watching developments with much interest.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland has said that the proposal, if approved, would create an adverse impact on the national road and associated junction and would, in the Authority’s opinion, be at variance with foregoing national policy.
Meanwhile Donegal County Council’s planning office requested further information ahead a proposed decision on the application in two weeks time.
They deferred consideration the application made on December 20th pending compliance with revised proposals.
The compliances noted include: ‘The proposed internal access road to be omitted from the scheme’. A number of other changes are also proposed in relation to the relation to the staff car parking proposal to be omitted and located elsewhere on the site.
The planning application was submitted on November 11th to include: Permission for demolition of existing agricultural sheds as part of the site preparation works to allow for the construction of a new multi-disclipinary health centre including gerneral practice, dental suite, mixed general primary care facilities and an ambulance service base with all associated works and services including the provision of a dedicated ‘on-site’ wastewater treatment system prior to dischage to the public sewer.
In their response to the proposal, Council officials contacted the architects on December 20th saying: “The design of the proposed building to be amended so that it is set back within the site (building facing housing estate road) to be in line with the rear wall of the adjacent detached 2 storey house to the south west
A return to be added to the building in the southern end of the site (where the staff car park is currently proposed) so that the revised building is generally ‘L’ shaped.
The entire revised building to be further relocated within the site and at a minimum to double the current distance provided between the rear building line and the north eastern site boundary.
All parking including staff parking to be located in the northern and north eastern part of the site.”
The architects have responded to the Council saying that in terms of the building footprint they can offer little in terms of compromise as the HSE need this as a minimum level of accommodation.
Back on October 16th Minster Joe McHugh was pictured on social media ‘signing’ the contract for the new primary health care centre. He said it was a major boost for the people of this region of Donegal with one-stop facility providing vital care and services through the clinic and alongside GP and dental care.
Minister Mc Hugh paid tribute to the community for their part in getting the project to ‘where it now is’ and he had a particular mention for the support of Michael McClafferty who has been vocal exponent of the project.
McClafferty is now the FG candidate in the area for the local elections in May.
Attempts by the Tribune to get confirmation from the Health Service Executive that the contract had been signed for the €2.5 million facility failed to get a positive response. The site of the new building is close to the Oakgrove Estate on the edge of the town.
The new centre is also expected to offer a range of HSE clinic services including public health nursing, physio, occupational therapy and other supports. It had been hoped that the new centre would be open in 2020.Tags: