Public hearing into children's hospital site

Monday 17 October 2011 19.27
The new hospital will be almost 110,000sq/m and 16-storeys high
The new hospital will be almost 110,000sq/m and 16-storeys high

A planning hearing for the new national children's super hospital has heard how the building must be higher than surrounding buildings if it is to be a world-class facility.

An Bord Pleanála began a public hearing into planning permission for the new Children's Hospital of Ireland this morning.

Each patient will have a single en suite room.

Each room will have a large window with a view over Dublin city and an internal window to give nurses a clear line-of-sight to the patient.

There will also be a daybed in each room which converts into a bed for parents to stay over in their child's room.

Each room will also have a wall-mounted flat screen monitor with television and internet capabilities.

The board of the hospital has rejected claims that the proposed building breaches height and overshadowing regulations.

The statutory body charged with building the hospital - the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board - has begun calling a number of experts to discuss the hospital project, including architects, engineers, a town planner and a consultant paediatrician.

The new hospital will range in height from six to 16 storeys.

Residents in the area have lodged complaints that the height will impinge on their privacy and overshadow their homes by blocking daylight.

They say they are not objecting to the location of the hospital, but rather to the height and size of the building.

A town planner has told the hearing that the project is in line with the current area development planning rules because there are no maximum height restrictions contained in that local area plan.

An architect on the project has rejected the residents' claim about limited daylight, and said the "general overshadowing" was "not thought to be significant".

Another architect has been describing how the internal design was agreed upon, including a "happy floor" and therapy gardens by consulting children with long-term experience of hospitals, and building mock-up rooms for staff to assess.

The new super-hospital will amalgamate the existing children's hospitals at Temple Street, Our Lady's in Crumlin, and at Tallaght Hospital.

The board is seeking planning permission for seven years as it estimates it will take that long to tender for construction contracts, to build and to fit out the hospital.

The hearing is scheduled for eight days over three weeks between now and beginning of November.