PLANS to build a new fire station in Clonakilty have ‘slipped down the list’, according to a local councillor, who said it could be 2020 before work is started.
Sinn Fein’s Paul Hayes reacted with disappointment when the council’s director of services, Louis Duffy, confirmed that Kanturk is likely to be built before the proposed €1.2m fire station in Clonakilty.
Despite the fact that the Part Eight planning process for the Clonakilty project was completed in May 2018, Mr Duffy said they had yet to advertise for a consultant to carry out the preliminary and detailed design, site investigations and tender preparation, and it is only when that is complete that the Council will be in a position to advertise for tender for construction – which is likely to be in third quarter of 2019.
Speaking at a recent council meeting, Cllr Hayes criticised Government policy to sanction only one new station per year, saying: ‘This means that the plans for Clonakilty will be gathering dust for another year.’
Cllr Hayes pointed out that public representatives were due to meet officials from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in January, and that he would be lobbying them to have Clonakilty to be put back on the priority list, and for work to start in 2019.
‘For too long,’ he said, ‘our firefighters have had to put up with outdated facilities. They lack proper changing facilities and don’t have any shower facilities, either.
‘The current location at Rossa St in the centre of Clonakilty town can also become quite congested with traffic at different times during the day, which can it make it difficult for them to make a swift exit.’
According to Cllr Hayes, the new location on the bypass would allow for easier access and departures for the fire brigade, as well as provide ample space for on-site training.
‘At one stage,’ Cllr Hayes said, ‘Clonakilty and Kanturk were neck and neck, but now Kanturk has overtaken Clonakilty.’
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