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Our Lady’s Hospital needs a coherent plan to maximise potential

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FINE Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn believes the new owners of Our Lady’s Hospital in Ennis should collaborate with Shannon Commercial Properties (owners of the Information Age Park) to develop a plan for the area.

“It would be great if Clare County Council and Shannon Commercial Properties worked with this businessman to develop a coherent plan for both the Information Age Park and Our Lady’s to maximise the return for the community,” Cllr Flynn said.

Andy Hamilton first reported in the Clare People that the former psychiatric hospital was sold at a BidX1 auction for €750,000 at the end of February and is rumoured to have been purchased by a local businessman.

The hospital started with a guide price of €475,000 and received a total of 21 bids.

It sits on a 6.74 hectare site and was granted planning permission in February 2013 for the development of a healthcare facility comprising a four storey over basement building to provide a full range of medical and related services including 97 in-patient beds, recovery cubical, consultants suites, administration office accommodation, pharmacy, shop, catering facilities, crèche, energy centre, plant rooms and all ancillary accommodation.

It is also currently listed as a “zoned C1.1 – Commercial, retail” property under the County Development Plan.

According to the auction details, this will give the buyer scope to develop “lands for commercial and business uses (offices, service industry, warehousing and the facilitation of enterprise/retail park/office type uses as appropriate etc”.

“There are exciting opportunities out there if there was a coherent plan to maximise the community, social and economic benefit of this and the other site,” Cllr Flynn added.

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