The HSE insists it will ‘mitigate’ the concerns of residents in two Ennis estates in its planning application for a 100-bed community nursing unit in the town.
Members of the local community have expressed fear about the potential impact of a new facility for St Joseph’s Hospital.
More than a million euro was set aside in the HSE’s Capital Plan, which was unveiled last month, for a new building for St Joseph’s on a new green field site near the Turnpike.
It’s understood of the 100 beds planned to be built, around 75 of these beds are intended to be long stay, with the other 25 to be short stay.
The HSE says it will significantly improve standards of care once built, and will be among the best such facilities in the country.
However, a number of residents – including those in Gallows Hill and St Patrick’s Terrace – have made their voices heard at the first public consultations around the plans, citing concerns around drainage and traffic management.
John Maloney, who lives near the site, says while all locals want to see improved facilities, adjustments may need to be made.
However, the HSE insists those issues will be addressed during its planning application.
Regional Estates Manager, Clodagh Hanratty, says any and all developments on the site would provide increased footfall, and believes those fears will be mitigated.
The HSE has also raised concern about the prospect of the project being dragged on, fearing it may lose significant capital funding set aside for it if it does.
It’s understood the project in full will cost in excess of 25 million euro.
Aisling Ryan, who’s Head of Services for Older People, says in some ways, they’re in a race against the clock to deliver the facility.
An Ennis Fianna Fail Councillor insists a roundabout at Captain Mac’s cross would allay local residents’ concerns about the redevelopment of the site.
Pat Daly, who lives in the Gallows Hill area, believes there are possible changes to the planned entrance and exit that could suit all parties.
The HSE intends to proceed with its planning application for the facility in around four weeks’ time.
Listen to the full interview here