Planning approval for eye clinic at The Boulevard

Two adjacent units at The Boulevard are to be turned into a private eye clinic. C2335523
Two adjacent units at The Boulevard are to be turned into a private eye clinic. C2335523

​The planning application was lodged by TSA Planning Ltd, Belfast, on behalf of Episo 4, Banbridge, a company based in Luxembourg.

In their report, the planners wrote: “The centre will provide screening, investigations, and interventions for patients with cataracts, and will be complementary to the existing NHS services.

"The centre is intended to attract world-class ophthalmologists, be a centre for national and international training for clinicians, and will be recognised as a centre of innovation.

"Solasta Healthcare will be a dedicated 'one-stop shop', designed to be the leading-edge facility of the Independent sector provision in the ophthalmology market.

“The operational requirement was for accommodation of circa 370 sq. m., across a single floorplate with convenient access to good quality road infrastructure to cater for patients from across Ireland, and safe/accessible parking facilities.

"These elements are required to ensure the safety of visually-impaired patients accessing and leaving the clinic.”

The report goes on to note that an extensive search for suitable premises in Banbridge town centre was to no avail: “At present there is a vacancy rate of 15.2% in Banbridge town centre.

"The submitted reports reviewed all accommodation available, and assessed these on the basis of whether they were viable or suitable for the proposed use/business.

"As part of the process, they also reviewed all available development sites within the town centre and edge-of-town-centre locations.

“In total, 22 available commercial properties were considered in Banbridge town centre. All of the properties assessed were either unviable or unsuitable for the proposed use.

"In most cases the size of the units available was unsuitable, while parking provision was also an issue.

“The proposal represents a significant investment from the private sector. The investment for the proposal is £700,000, and the facility will employ 10-12 people.”