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Planning authority agrees to alteration in proposal for National Forensic Hospital

The proposed alterations comprised reducing the depth of excavation across the main campus area west of the reception building by one metre, with a consequent upward adjustment by the same amount of the finished floor and roof levels of other units, as well as undertaking recontouring and infilling with soil of a permitted horticultural area.

The preparation of an environmental impact statement, either by means of any mandatory requirement or following sub-threshold analysis, was not deemed necessary by the planning body.

“Having regard to the characteristics of the receiving environment, the planning history of the site, the characteristics of the proposed alteration — which amends the approach to earthworks management — and the submissions on file, the Board is satisfied that the proposed alteration would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment,” according to the decision.

The long-awaited project includes a new 120-bed hospital and two new 10-bed units for intellectual disability and for child and adolescent mental health services.

“Discussions on replacing the Central Mental Hospital began around 2000 and approval was given for the development of the National Forensic Mental Hospital in 2006. Following this, the site at St Ita’s in Portrane was chosen in 2009, with planning permission granted in 2015. I am pleased that we are now in a position whereby construction can soon commence,” commented Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal Deputy Alan Farrell recently.

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