Plans for upgrade of Athlone Fire Station

Athlone Fire Station could be in line for a €148,000 extension.

Councillors received a presentation from chief fire officer with Westmeath County Council, Dave Stuart, at Monday's meeting of the Municipal District.

He told councillors that the station currently has four bays which can house four truck-sized vehicles and three smaller vehicles, such as a jeep.

However, since the station was built, the area serviced by Athlone Fire Brigade has expanded and developed and the nature of the buildings requiring fire protection are larger, taller and have a higher risk. The transport infrastructure has developed and the role of the Fire Service has expanded. The result is that there is now a need for up to 10 vehicles to be accommodated, he said.

Mr Stuart said that the most practical and economical way to accommodate these vehicles is to extend the appliance bay by approximately 160 square metres into the existing yard and relocate the roller doors to the new elevation.

As the fire station is surrounded by high walls, he said the extension will not be intrusive or adversely affect the surroundings or the adjoining residential communities. It will not be visible from the front of the building.

Funding has been sought from the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management. The scale of the project requires a Part 8 planning approval and it is intended to commence this process in the coming weeks.

A report on submissions will be brought before the council in the near future, possibly in time for the June meeting.

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