Tuesday 16 July 2019

Work to start on new Kanturk fire station within weeks

Bill Browne

Work is set to commence on the long awaited new fire station for Kanturk within the coming month after it emerged Cork County Council has issued a letter of acceptance to their preferred bidder for the contract, HG Construction.

In May of 2017 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. It was purchased a number of years ago by the Council for a figure believed to be in the region of €1 million. 

The current fire station, which was once described by former county councillor Timmy Collins as 'little more than a garage for the fire tender' is located on a confined site close to an adjacent housing estate, with no opportunity for it to be upgraded. 

The planning 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.

"The upgrade we are proposing is for a new fire station capable of housing modern equipment, bringing the local service in line with modern standards and providing improved access and egress in emergencies," said Ms Higgins. 

However, delays in the design process and securing the necessary funding had delayed the project, much to the chagrin of local councillors. Now that funding has been ring-fenced and the contact awarded, it is anticipated that the new station will be fully operational before the end of next summer. 

The latest development in the long-running saga has been warmly welcomed by Kanturk area councillor Bernard Moynihan (FF) who said it was 'long overdue.' 

"The Kanturk fire fighters have for years had to work under very poor conditions and it is testament to their professionalism and dedication that they have done such a magnificent job," said Cllr Moynihan.

"This is great news for the town of Kanturk, its wider catchment area, and indeed the entire North Cork region " he added.