*Photograph: Joe Buckley
Plans for a primary health care centre in Sixmilebridge have been hit with a setback.
An “unforeseen issue” with the site purchase has resulted in what is expected to be a twelve month delay to the project, planning of which was first lodged in March 2019.
Situated at Ashview Drive in Sixmilebridge, the planned 1,600 square metre two-storey care centre is said to be off the table forcing the HSE to go to tender once again to locate a suitable site.
Consequently, a twelve month delay is expected but hopes have been expressed the Ashview Drive site may come back into play. A new tender process is anticipated to begin within the next five to six weeks.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) labelled the setback as “unfortunate”. “We fought very hard over the last number of years to get approval and funding for that, it was achieved. It is a setback but the really important thing is the HSE have committed to continuing with the project albeit that they have to go back to tender for a suitable site. The contract negotiations don’t seem to have concluded, it is outside everybody’s control. The really important thing is that the commitment is there from the Government and the HSE to continue with it”.
Design of a new proposed building will be dictated by the tender process, Senator Dooley explained. “Each site from a planning point of view would have to be assessed on a case by case basis, the site that was there was very suitable, it has planning permission, I can only hope that the existing site might come back into play again in some shape or form, if it does that would certainly be advantageous but if not, an alternative site will have to be found”.
Dooley said he has received “a commitment” that the project is still approved and will proceed despite the stumbling block. “It is fair to assume that it could have delayed the project by up to twelve months, the important thing is that the commitment is still there”.
Concern at the pace of which a review on the progression of the planned primary health care centre for Kilrush was recently voiced by Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF). The facility was also first announced in March 2019.