The National Pediatric Hospital Development Board is granted a three-year extension to use Dublin City Council’s land to complete the development of the children’s hospital.

The board originally received a five-year license from the council in 2016 to use land that was earmarked for a new city park as part of the construction of the pediatric facility.

The community’s need for land was expected to end within the five-year period, with the license expiring next September. However, due to the delays in the construction of the new hospital, the board requested an extension until July 2024.

The land, a plot of almost 1,000 m² south of the hospital grounds next to the Rialto Luas stop, was used as a makeshift road for development, with the community receiving license fees of 100 euros per year.

Three years ago the council began developing plans for a linear park that runs through Rialto along the Luas Line from east of Fatima Luas station to Suir Road Bridge in the west. The council said last year it plans to complete the project in phases, with the central section that runs past the hospital grounds being completed “along with the hospital opening” in 2022.

Local residents said the construction of the hospital unnecessarily delayed development of the entire park.

“We are concerned that this development is not progressing as we thought it will decline at the beginning of our deliberations,” said Carol Ballantine, the representative of the Rialto resident, on Wednesday before the city council.

“We are very concerned about the gradual development of the park with a small incremental development. We really don’t see any reason why the entire development should be delayed by the construction of the hospital. “

The group supported the construction of the hospital and wanted to see it completed, but Ms. Ballantine said the facility should add to local amenity rather than detract from it.

The area designated for the park is “currently dominated by the construction of the hospital and at times completely inaccessible to us,” she said, and the delays in the development of the park have left it “overgrown and littered” with indications of drug use.

“It is located in one of the most densely populated parts of the city with one of the lowest availability of green space per person, less than 1m of public green space per person.”

Local residents wanted to see the “somewhat degraded and dangerous space that has now been turned into a safe, natural destination”.

Area council committee chairman Vincent Jackson, independent councilor, said councilors were “not insane” about extending the lease, “but the hospital needs to be completed”. He said he hoped the hospital would be “very compassionate to make a significant contribution to the park’s development”.