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Big step forward for primary care centre for western side of Galway City


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Big step forward for primary care centre for western side of Galway City

From the Galway City Tribune – A ‘pre-planning’ meeting is due to be held shortly to progress the new primary care centre for the western side of Galway City, with an application expected to be lodged in December.

While the Health Service Executive (HSE) would not disclose which site the major project is earmarked for due to “commercial sensitivity”, the Galway City Tribune reported more than a year ago that it will be developed on the Micheál Ó hUiginn lands in Shantalla.

Joe Hoare, Assistant National Director of Capital and Estates, stated that his department is engaging with the successful bidder for the delivery of the primary care centre.

A previous plan to locate it in Knocknacarra was abandoned in favour of a more central location near the hospital.

“Our understanding is that there was a requirement identified in order to accurately assess vehicular traffic data and to inform the design process for some traffic engineering studies to be carried out during the school term,” said Mr Hoare.

“A report on same is to be completed and submitted as part of the planning permission application. This matter has been progressed and a preplanning meeting is due to be held with the local authority in the coming week. Further engagement with the HSE on the latest scheme to review layouts and adjacencies is also planned for the coming weeks.

“It is anticipated that a planning permission can be lodged by early December 2022,” he said.

During meetings about the next Galway City Development Plan, a 1.6-acre site on the Seamus Quirke Road which used to be home to the Lydon House bakery was included in the Seamus Quirke Road Regeneration Site.

On foot of a proposal from Cllr Peter Keane (FF), that designation now includes the area where Fine Wines currently trades which would give more leeway for development for the owners, the Cormicans, whose site borders the Ó hUiginn site.

Cllr Connolly said he believed it would make sense for access to be given off Seamus Quirke Road opposite McDonalds, but this would be assessed in a full traffic audit as part of the planning application.

He hoped this primary care centre would be host to an extensive range of services.

Other centres treat at least 90 per cent of medical conditions there rather than patients going to hospital.

In addition to GPs, some of the centres house dental, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and mental health services. X-rays can also be carried out in a number of the larger ones.

The model involves a developer applying for planning permission for the building and maintaining it once approved by the HSE, which will take out a 25-year lease on the facility as part of the arrangement.

In August of last year, the Galway City Tribune revealed that the HSE West was in discussion with the businessman and former mayor, Mícheál Ó hUiginn, the owner of about 9.5 acres of vacant land off Seamus Quirke Road.

At the time, the HSE said it had not purchased the land, but it was in discussion about using part of the site for primary care – at the beginning of 2022, the “transaction” was approved by the HSE board and discussions have been ongoing since.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, October 28. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

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