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Site for New Hospice 15 October 2004

The Department of Health and Social Security and Hospice have identified a way forward to secure a site for the Island's much needed new hospice, DHSS Minister Steve Rodan MHK and Hospice chairman John Quinn confirmed today.

Following further talks, the DHSS has agreed to release land within its Ballamona estate to free up enough sites in the area for both the hospice and the proposed EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) Unit. Subject to planning, this would allow the hospice to be built on the Ballamona estate and the EMI Unit to be built at Cronk Grianagh, or vice versa.

The Department and Hospice are now seeking the views of Braddan Parish Commissioners on the above options before detailed planning applications can be progressed.

Minister Rodan explained:

"The Department had hoped to build the EMI Unit at Farmhill but we have now been told that it could be another 12 months before planning for that site is approved or rejected. In the meantime we have had to hold Cronk Grianagh in reserve for the EMI Unit and so have been unable to confirm it as the site for hospice.

"The Department and Hospice would like to assure the people of the Island, especially those who have donated so generously to the Mighty Oak Appeal, that we have been working closely together to resolve this impasse and we are pleased that a way forward has now been identified. By releasing land within the Ballamona estate there should be enough sites for both the hospice and the EMI Unit, to which the Department is committed."

Hospice Chairman John Quinn said:

"The Mighty Oak Appeal is now at the stage that allows Hospice to begin the work of actually providing the facility. There has been understandable public concern at the uncertainty surrounding the siting issue and I am delighted with the positive progress that has been made recently. We look forward to constructive discussions with other parties so that this vitally important project can proceed without delay."

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