Appeal against permission for nursing home on Warwick site

A computer-generated image of how the nursing home would look.

It has been argued that the provision of a nursing home on the site of the old Warwick Hotel in Salthill is not compatible with the zoning of the immediate area.

According to an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, the proposed four-storey, 60-bedroom nursing home represents excessive density on the site. The appeal also argues that it exceeds City Development Plan density standards and is inappropriate to a site which adjoins two-storey developments on all sites and the low-density Lenaboy Gardens estate to the rear.

Rushmany Nursing Home Limited had been granted planning permission to build the four-storey nursing home at the site of the former hotel.

When it came to the initial planning stage, the City Council ordered a redesign, pointing out that the development would be in conflict with public health and safety, particularly in the context of fire safety and means of escape.

The applicants were ordered to liaise with the Chief Fire Officer. The Council also ordered a significant increase in the quantity and quality of open space provided.

Redesigned plans were subsequently submitted to the Council and these included a professional landscaping scheme has which “seeks to deliver high quality and appropriately designed amenity areas which are tailor-made to meet the requirements of the elderly”.

This consists of a south-facing ‘therapeutic/dementia garden’ to the front and a shared and a looped walkway within the site.

Seven parking spaces (leaving a total of 34) have been omitted to allow for a ’homezone’ open space area, and the applicants argue that the site is serviced by two bus routes, reducing the demand for parking.

Planning permission was granted subject to 21 conditions being complied with but this decision has now been appealed to the higher planning authority, who will rule on the matter later in the year.

The appeal by Iura Matel with an address in The Grange, Dublin states that the excessive height but also the size of the building will result in severe problems of overlooking.

It is stated that the design is of very poor quality with an extraordinary dependence on opaque glass to prevent the overlooking and results in very poor standards of bedroom accommodation.

“Given that this is a nursing home, many residents will be bed bound or with limited mobility so the bedroom quality, including a window to look out on the world, is of particular importance”, it is said in the appeal.

The appellant takes issue with the open space provided which is described as being of poor quality and entirely unsuited for purpose.

“Elderly and infirm residents cannot be expected to take the sun in the areas suggested”.

A decision on the appeal is due in November.