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Poots and Attwood welcome speedy planning approval for new Radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital

Health Minister Edwin Poots today welcomed Alex Attwood’s announcement recommending planning permission for a new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.
Thursday, 28 February 2013

The new facility will provide a much needed radiotherapy service to the people of the North West including from Co Donegal. The Department of the Environment is currently consulting Derry City Council on its opinion to approve this application.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “This is great news for the local community and means we are one step closer to opening this important facility. It means more patients can be treated closer to home, rather than have a long journey at a stressful time.

“The new facility is expected to cost in the region of £70m including enabling works and is planned for completion in late 2015/early 2016 with the facility becoming operational in mid 2016 following a period of commissioning. It will complement the service provided at the Belfast Cancer Centre and will receive financial support from the RoI government.

“The full business case is nearing finalisation and site enabling works are progressing well with work on the main construction phase expected to commence in early 2014 following procurement. I would like to commend the project team at the Western Trust for all their hard work to date getting this new radiotherapy unit to where it is today.”

The planning application has been turned around in just 11 weeks.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “This is a development that will provide vital services for people in the local area. This is why I made sure that we were in a position to turn it around very quickly. To turn around a planning application of this magnitude in 11 weeks shows our commitment to getting things done for local patients. My officials worked with key consultees for months before the application was submitted, clearing any hurdles. This ensured a quality application and therefore a speedy process.”

Alex Attwood continued: “Economically this will also provide a boost for Derry securing real jobs in the long term and construction jobs in the short term. This is also a further example where DOE has been making planning decisions and providing advice and guidance in a wide variety of sectors which are making significant contributions to the City and the North West. From planning for the Peace Bridge to decisions on hotels and Fort George; from money to tackle dereliction to grants to protect and enhance the heritage of the City – this is about government being seen to work for the City and working with all the City’s citizens, Council and communities to secure jobs and build hope.”

Notes to editors:

1. Planning application A/2012/0597/F for full planning permission was submitted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust on 12 December 2012.

2. The site is within the existing Altnagelvin Hospital complex, Glenshane Road, Derry.

3. There were no objections to the application.

4. For media enquiries please contact DHSSPS Communications Office on 028 9052 0579 or DOE press office on 028 9025 6058. Out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.