Modular theatre building at Merlin Park hospital finally gets approval

Galway Daily news Plans submitted for community nursing unit at Merlin Park Hospital

Plans for a modular building of surgical theatres at Merlin Park hospital have finally been given the go ahead by the city council.

The HSE has received planning permission for a 613m2 modular Theatre Building and link corridor providing two orthopaedic surgical theatres for Merlin Park Hospital.

The modular building has been in the works since two theatres were forced to close due to a leaky roof in September 2017.

Since then a massive backlog of people waiting for elective surgery has built up at

The planning process was held up in March when the city council raised concerns about the ecological impact of the project.

Further information was also requested about the projected lifespan of the modular building amid some confusion about its place in the long term plans for Merlin Park.

However a response letter from Rhatigan Architects said that this would not be a temporary facility, and that it was meant to be a long term addition to the hospital’s facilities.

“We wish to clarify that the proposed building shall be a permanent structure and not temporary in nature as suggested by the planning authority.”

“The use of the terms Modular or Prefabricated relate to elements of the building which may be constructed off site in the form of unitised construction to facilitate the rapid delivery of this essential healthcare facility”.

“An Orthopaedic theatre by its very nature must be a substantial solid structure to meet the strict criteria for this clinical use, therefore a significant degree of permanence is required in excess of 20+ years”.

An Ecological Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment Screening report were also submitted to the city council at this point.

According to the plans submitted to the council the theatre building will be constructed on a maintained grass area on the grounds of Merlin Park Hospital in proximity to Merlin Woods.

The EIA said that the development would “avoid impacts on habitats and species of high ecological significance such as the nearby Merlin Woods and associated species such as bats and birds that use the woodland for feeding, resting, or commuting.”

The City Council granted planning permission with a total of ten conditions attached.