Donegal Town has received a massive boost with news that planning permission was granted for a primary care centre which will employ hundreds of people.
This new four-storey facility will be built in Drumlonagher near the Public Services Centre. It will bring together services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, public health nurses and school age teams.
The primary care centre will house a GP service under Dr Peter Kardos as well as dental services, early intervention teams and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMS). Further treatment rooms will be available to book.
There will also be an ambulance docking station on site as well as much needed welfare facilities for ambulance personnel.
Landowners DHM Developments appointed director William Donoghue and Associates Consultant Engineers and Architectural Services to lead the project. The site will be developed by Remcoll Capital Ltd led by project manager Chris O’Connor who recently completed a primary care centre in Carnew, Co Wicklow. He is currently working on a similar project in Baltinglass, also in Wicklow.
Mr Donoghue told the Donegal Post: “I started this idea four years ago when I looked into primary care on that site. I have seen it grow since then and am delighted to have reached this stage. We are all eager now to get started.”
The architect has worked in conjunction with the HSE and some of the building’s future occupants including Dr Peter Kardos.
“It began with a HSE notice that was sent out looking for expressions of interest for sites,” said Mr Donoghue. “Having been selected, we worked closely with people who will be using the building. They are the experts and we all worked together to design this state-of-the-art health care facility.”
The result will be an easily accessible, disability-friendly facility that will meet the needs of health care providers and service users.
The 55,000 square foot building will be among the biggest of this type in the north west. Work is due to start later this year and with an 18-month building period, it should open by 2021.
The facility is fully in keeping with Donegal County Council’s Local Area Plan. It will complement the other buildings on the site including a nursing home, the building of which Mr Donoghue envisages will start soon.
“As you approach the town, there will be a real central hub of public services in an accessible point,” he said. “Our design is taking into consideration what is already there with the Public Services Centre and the Fire Station.
“It was my vision to provide public service type facilities on that land and that is what we have done.
“The food plaza with shop and petrol station will be a service for users of the other facilities on the site.
And of course, the primary care centre will be a great boost for the area in terms of employment. In fact up to 250 jobs will be provided in the facility.
“There will be a big range of job types there, with everything from gardeners to doctors,” said Mr Donoghue. “And a further 100 people are expected to be employed in the construction phase.”
Cllr Noel Jordan (SF) welcomed the granting of planning permission, saying it was great news for Donegal Town and indeed, the whole south of the county.
“Pearse Doherty and myself have worked very closely with William to get this to the planning stage,” he said. “I commend William on the huge amount of work and time that has already gone into this. It is an example of what you can deliver when you put your mind to something. Without him it would never have got to this stage. He had great vision for that site.
This almost completes the Drumlonagher site with one area behind the fire station still available for development. Mr Donoghue said he was looking at some ideas that would be in keeping with the rest of the site.
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