Keep up with Armagh i

Council refuses Trust permission for drive-thru blood test facility at Lurgan Hospital

In the absence of a phase two risk assessment - which had been requested on four occasions over the past two years - the proposals has been turned down due to 'lack of information'

Drive thru blood testing Armagh 2

Plans by the Southern Health Trust to open a drive-thru blood testing facility at Lurgan Hospital have been turned down.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has rejected proposals – which relate to a disused boiler unit – which were submitted close to two years ago.

It was in April 2021, when Armagh I revealed the Trust’s intentions to open the phlebotomy unit at the Sloan Street site.

Phlebotomy is the medical practice of drawing blood from a vein and allows for testing for various conditions.

The new unit would have taken the form of a drive-thru facility, with the proposals also including general offices and a staff room, with ancillary accommodation too.

It should have been the second such development in the Trust area. The plans came after a pilot facility launched in Armagh back in October 2020.

According to the professional planning report, the application was seeking a change of use from boiler house to phlebotomy unit with drive-thru facility to consist of general offices, staff room, ancillary accommodation with associated existing car parking and new rear ramped access.

It adds: “The height of the building will remain the same with an internal reconfiguration to create six offices along with one staff facilities. Works are proposed to the rear to remove doors and replace with windows and tie in the difference with similar brick.

“A covered canopy is to be erected at the front of the building which will lead to and cover two parking bays.  To the rear of the building a ramped wheelchair accessibility access is to be added.”

The statement says that, on the “basis of the circumstances of the site proposed development and distance from residential development it is not considered the proposal will adversely impact on residential amenity”.

And it adds: “Officers consider that, in terms design, scale and the impact on residential amenity, the proposal is compliant with the requirements of the local area plan, and the relevant policy and guidance.”

But ABC Council has now decided to reject the proposals for the development, which would have represented a significant investment in the health sector locally.

A senior planning officer – in signing off on the decision to refuse – had said further details regarding a “phase 2 generic quantitative risk assessment” had been required for the determination of the application.

It says that a request was made for this on four occasions – October 31, 2021, December, 12, 2021, and again on April 6, and October 7, 2022.

The planners report concludes: “This information has not been submitted inn order to allow the application to be fully considered and what impact the proposal will have on human health.

“On that basis refusal is recommended due to lack of information.”

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Lurgan