PLANNING permission has been granted for a new garda station from Macroom, which will the new headquarters for policing Cork county.
The station will also be the new divisional headquarters when the Cork West and Cork North garda divisions are amalgamated.
It will mean that policing from Allihies to Youghal and Clonakilty to Midleton will be directed from the new station.
The project, which is being developed in a public-private partnership, is part of the Capital Investment Plan 2016-21 for An Garda Síochána.
According to the planning documents, the project will incorporate a two-, three-, and four-storey building with three standalone single-storey ancillary buildings.
The accommodation of the main building includes a public office, staff offices, conference facilities, staff support facilities, custody areas, plant and associated ancillary spaces. There will also be provision of 60 parking spaces.
Local Fianna Fáil TD Aindrias Moynihan welcomed the approval. He said that, in 2019, the Garda Commissioner had announced that Macroom Garda Station would be changed from a district station to a divisional headquarters but that there had been no progress since then, despite a site having been purchased over five years ago.
He continued: “The communities and businesses in Cork have already had to wait over five years for other parts of this PPP bundle to catch up.
"There should now be extra energy and effort put in to drive on the construction of the new divisional headquarters.”
It is estimated that the new building will take up to two years to construct.
Gardaí planned a walk-out from the existing station in 2010 because of overcrowding and concern about conditions in the building, which was built in the late 1800s. The walk-out was averted when steps were made to purchase a new site.