Second company has plans for dialysis unit
In an unexpected twist to the controversy over the building of a dialyis unit in Wexford, a second company has applied for planning permission to erect a clinic in Drinagh while the medical firm awarded the original HSE tender is still awaiting the result of an appeal on its rejected application.
B Braun Medical Ltd has published a notice announcing that it is applying for planning permission to erect a 757 square metre single storey building for use as a rental dialysis clinic with a separate storage structure and car park at Sinnottstown Lane, Drinagh.
The announcement comes as a surprise given that another company Fresenius Medical Care (Ireland) Ltd was given the HSE contract to build the unit following a lengthy tender process although it is currently embroiled in a planning appeal.
It is understood that B Braun was one of the two frontrunners in the HSE tender process for the proposed Wexford unit and lost out on price to Fresenius when the tender result was revealed at the beginning of this year.
But in a shock development, Fresenius was refused planning permission by Wexford County Council for a change of use at the former Acorn Fashions building in Whitemill Industrial Estate in Clonard.
Fresenius is still waiting for a ruling by An Bord Pleanala on its appeal against the Council decision which was made last August.
The Council turned down the development on the grounds that it is inappropriate for the location which is zoned industrial and could restrict the use of adjoining lands for manufacturing and other projects.
Fresenius immediately appealed the ruling and a decision on the appeal is expected to be made by An Bord Pleanala by January 11 2017. A spokesman for planning board said this week that the appeal is 'on course' for a decision by that date.
The local authority had asked Fresenius to guarantee it would not object to a waste recycling facility which the Council is considering on its own adjacent site, formerly occupied by Sola Lenses.
Fresenius and the HSE both indicated that a waste recycling plan could have a negative impact on a renal dialysis unit.
The refusal of planning permission for the urgently-needed clinic was greeted with widespread disappointment and anger as it was felt the issues should have been raised earlier in the planning process to avoid wasting time.
Senior planner Diarmuid Houston said he was concerned that a health care facility would undermine the potential use of the site which was to be used as a household waste recycling centre as the only civic site in the Wexford district is located in Holmestown. he pointed that there were other suitable locations for the dialysis unit around the town, some of which would not require planning permission.
B Braun is now pressing ahead with its own application for a renal dialysis unit on an unidentified site in Drinagh despite losing the HSE tender.'It's a clever move because if the An Bord Pleanala decision goes against Fresenius, B Braun will be ahead of the posse and could be in a position to build a unit sooner,' said a source.
B Braun is a top supplier of medical care products and services and already has a dialysis unit in Oranmore, County Galway.
Fresenius is one of the leading global providers of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. and is responsible for running a number of dialysis units around the country including Kilkenny.Both companies have their parent headquarters in Germany.