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New proposal to build National Children's Hospital on Coombe site

The proposals could potentially be financed by an overseas sovereign wealth fund.

The existing Coombe Hospital
The existing Coombe Hospital
Image: Chris Bacon/PA Archive/Press Association Images

AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL for National Children’s Hospital which would see it built on a site near the existing Coombe Hospital has been sent to health minister James Reilly.

The new proposal would fulfil all the requirements set out by a Department of Health taskforce and enable the building to be far lower than that proposed for the Mater site, the submission said.

This could help it get past An Bord Pleanála, who rejected the Mater proposal last month on the grounds that it would have a “profound negative impact” on Dublin’s skyline.

Moreover a sovereign wealth fund has expressed an interest in financing the project, according to management of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

The submission highlighted the easy access to the Coombe site, which would be near several major roads and bus corridors and 400m from the Luas stop at St James’s Hospital.

The proposed new hospital would occupy the disused Bailey Gibson and John Player sites, as well as the former Boys’ Brigade playing fields which are now owned by Dublin City Council.

Parking for 1,000 cars would be provided at the proposed institution, which the submission said would provide “a warm and welcoming, child‐friendly world with high-quality, well-ventilated daylit spaces, landscaped courts, gardens and terraces.” The submission states:

The vision of the NPH on this site achieves the unequivocal tri‐location of paediatric, maternity and adult services and fulfils all of the criteria established by the McKinsey Report and the Department of Health/HSE NPH Task Group.

Some of the planning that has already gone into the Mater site at a cost of €35million could be transferred and used in the Coombe proposal, the submission said.

Read: Full proposal to locate the National Children’s Hospital in the Coombe>

More: Delay to hospital construction will be made up ‘very quickly’ – Reilly>

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Michael Freeman

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