Tuesday 21 May 2019

Kanturk's fire station can't wait

Moynihan: three year wait for Kanturk facility ''unacceptable'

Bill Browne

Now that preferred tender has been agreed for the planned new Kanturk fire station there must be no more delays in bringing the project forward to construction.

That's the view of Cork North West Fianna Fail TD Michael Moynihan, who has called on the minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, to ensure that work begins on the new station as soon as possible. 

In May of 2017 area councillors gave the green light to a Part 8 planning application for the new facility on a 1.4-acre site at the Mill Road Junction on Percival Street purchased  several years ago by the council for a figure believed to be in the region of €1 million. 

The current fire station is located on a confined site close to an adjacent housing estate, with no opportunity for it to be upgraded. 

The application made provision for a two-vehicle fire house and associated internal works including watch and assembly rooms, toilets/showers, workshop and muster bay and external facilities including a drill yard and 10 car-parking spaces. 

At the time council architect Orla Higgins said it was hoped work on the new facility would get underway some time during 2018. However, Cork County Council only confirmed last month that it selected a preferred tender for the project and was awaiting departmental approval to proceed to the next phase. 

Deputy Moynihan subsequently raised the issue in the Dáil, calling on Minister Murphy to make a statement outlining the current status of the project. 

In his reply a department official confirmed the tender proposals had been submitted to them on April 10 and it would "now be reviewed and a response will issue to the Council as soon as possible." 

Clearly not impressed with the vague nature of the rely, Deputy Moynihan has called on Minister Murphy to give a cast iron assurance that there will be no further delays to the project. 

He said the current first station was "unfit for purpose" and that funds for new station had been promised as far back as February 2016. 

"It is now three years later and we are still only at tender stage. The fact that this process has taken so long is unacceptable," said Deputy Moynihan. 

"It is imperative that there are no further delays to this project. We have already been waiting years for a new station to be sanctioned and approved and there is no reason why the contract should be delayed any further," he added.