Otago Daily Times

St John applicatio­n to use Awamoa Park site open for public discussion

- KAYLA HODGE kayla.hodge@odt.co.nz

ST John is formally seeking to build its new Oamaru ambulance base at Awamoa Park.

The Waitaki District Council will undertake public consultati­on from February 26 to hear the community’s perspectiv­e on the issue.

St John has asked to lease part of the park from the council, to establish and operate its new facility, as its Coquet St premises are no long fit for purpose.

The proposed Awamoa Park site is located next to Oamaru’s ‘‘unofficial car sale yard’’, off Wansbeck St.

It meets the organisati­on’s operationa­l requiremen­ts and response times, is a central location with arterial access and not in a tsunami zone.

St John South Island general manager Craig Stockdale said it was a suitable site for the organisati­on to respond to the community’s needs.

‘‘We look forward to hearing the public’s view in what will be an open consultati­on that will help inform council and allow them to make a decision. St John will be engaging with the community during the consultati­on period,’’ he said.

St John has been seeking a new site since 2014. Six were investigat­ed and Awamoa Park was identified as a potential site during engagement with the council nearly four years ago.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the council understood it was a proposal bound to create discussion.

‘‘If you have a view on whether it should proceed or not, then we want to hear from you.

‘‘We would like to know your thoughts on why it is or isn’t something you would be happy to see happen. Our councillor­s and I look forward to reading the range of views before we get to the difficult part — making the decision,’’ he said.

St John’s building, which was establishe­d in 1981, requires extensive renovation and extra facilities, including more overnight accommodat­ion for increased staff members, due to national doublecrew­ing standards.

It is within a tsunami zone, constraine­d for further expansion and there were limitation­s to access, affecting St John’s capability to respond to an emergency.

The consultati­on period closes on March 26, and a council hearing will be held on April 13, if required.

The council’s decision is due to be released on May 11.

 ?? PHOTOS: SUPPLIED BY WAITAKI DISTRICT COUNCIL ?? Future possibilit­y . . . An artist’s interpreta­tion of what a future St John Oamaru building could look like at Awamoa Park.
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED BY WAITAKI DISTRICT COUNCIL Future possibilit­y . . . An artist’s interpreta­tion of what a future St John Oamaru building could look like at Awamoa Park.

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