A large-scale plan to develop a medical campus for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) at Belcamp on the northern fringe of Dublin, due to be announced shortly, is now expected to be delayed until Nama has given its approval. The development would have coincided with this month’s 200th anniversary of the opening of the college headquarters on St Stephen’s Green.
The college has been involved in discussions over the past 18 months with property owner and developer Gerry Gannon on detailed plans for the 60-acre centre of excellence which was to include a medical school for over 2,000 students, a 320-bed teaching hospital, a 90-bed nursing home, research and development facilities, staff and student accommodation, and a hotel and leisure facilities. The college planned to retain the St Stephen’s Green building as a headquarters, using some of the freed-up space for an expanded school of surgery.
Construction costs had been estimated at €756 million for the 10-year Belcamp development, designed by Dublin architects and urban designers Conroy Crowe Kelly. The 60-acre site forms part of a landbank of 215 acres bought seven years ago by Mr Gannon for €105 million. He owns up to 700 acres of zoned land, mainly in north Dublin, which, along with other properties, are due to be transferred to Nama.
Mr Gannon is to seek the approval of Nama to proceed with a planning application for the medical campus on a joint venture basis with the RCSI. The college had been expected to raise part of its funding through long-term American education bonds. Some of the buildings, including the hospital, were due to be financed by outside investors. An agreement between Mr Gannon and the RCSI cannot be concluded unless it has the approval of Nama.