Planning application to be submitted for three-storey Primary Care Centre in Offaly
A PLANNING application is to be submitted to Offaly County Council for the building of Birr Primary Care Centre.
The proposed development will include HSE facilities comprising consulting rooms, treatment areas, meeting rooms, offices and support spaces, along with a GP surgery, a pharmacy with two consulting rooms, and a two-storey ambulance base.
The facility is being proposed by B.P.I. Investments Ltd for a site at Railway Road, Seefin, Birr. The site is the large field behind Birr Outdoor Education Centre.
At the beginning of July, the Chief Officer of the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation, Des O’Flynn, told Deputy Carol Nolan, that the HSE expects the new Primary Care Centre to become operational in the second quarter of 2023.
He said the HSE Board in November 2021 had given their approval for the development of the centre and that it was issuing a letter of intent to the developer. Mr O’Flynn said the HSE is now liaising with the developers who are required to lodge the planning application for the proposed development. He pointed out that the HSE expects that the planning application will be lodged in the third quarter of this year and that following this, and assuming there are no unforeseen delays, it is anticipated that the centre will be operational in Q2 2023.
However, this week one of the local people connected with the project said he is sceptical about the second quarter of next year operational date.
“I think it's unlikely it will be operational as soon as that,” he told the Midland Tribune. “It's more likely to be 2024 or 2025.”
He added that one of the positive things about the development will be the creation of a through road linking Roscrea Road with the Kinnitty and Clareen roads.
“The road will go from the Tesco roundabout on Roscrea Road, through the current field, and emerge near the Ko Rec Type building in Syngefield. This will lessen traffic congestion in the centre of the town.”
Cllr John Clendennen warmly welcomed the news that the developer is to submit a planning application.
“It is great to see Planning Approval will be sought for a Primary Care Centre facility in Birr,” he commented.
“This is a welcome step forward in developing a Centre serving Birr and the surrounding area. Following previous planning applications, it is both disappointing and frustrating that a PCC has not been delivered before now. I am hopeful that this proposal will be supported by the entire community in the best interest of improved healthcare for people in Birr and the surrounding area.
“The proposed site, located near the Tesco Roundabout on the Roscrea Road, is a ten minute walk from Emmet Square, and has already received approval from the Health Service Executive through an evaluation process over the past 12 months. In more recent months, a plan has been drafted to determine capacity and service provision at the proposed facility."
He said the facility will benefit the entire community from newborns to the elderly, and it was important to reiterate, as emphasised by the Health Service Executive on several occasions, that the delivery of this service will have no impact or compromise on any existing health services provided in the area.
He said the new facility will provide a number of services including x-ray, ultrasound, pharmacy, GP & treatment rooms and an ambulance base.
“It is still early days in the process”, the councillor continued, “and it is important that we respect the planning application process, but I fully support the proposal and hope the outcome will be favourable and construction will commence as soon as possible to deliver this much needed facility, subject to full planning approval from Offaly County Council.”
The three-storey development will span some 4,060 square metres, including 807 square metres of GP surgery space, and a pharmacy spanning 138 square metres.
The Ambulance Base will be two storeys with a single storey garage, spanning some 397.5 square metres while the application also cites a 157 car-parking area including provision for six motorcycle parking spaces, 50 bicycle spaces, 16 electrical charge points and traffic control barriers for employee parking.
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