The new fire service training tower built next to houses in Mountrath, Laois
A recently erected tower for firefighting practice beside a housing estate in Laois met with disapproval from locals, and now Laois County Council has decided whether to move it to another location.
The 30 metre tall fire drill tower was placed on one corner of Mountrath Fire Station, facing the front door of the nearest house occupied by a pensioner.
It is next door to Fr O’Connor Crescent housing estate and residents along with Cllr James Kelly had told the Leinster Express it had to go.
“We have a lovely peaceful well kept little estate. This tower is like something you’d see at Portlaoise prison. I don’t think it’s fair to people here, and especially to the two people in the maisonettes beside it,” resident Patsy Sydes had said.
However the council says after considered moving the tower, it has decided against it.
Director of Services Simon Walton explained their reasons at the March council meeting.
“There are four corners of the site, it is relatively confined. Two have overhead ESB wires. The other had a right of way to the back of properties on Shannon Street.
“We engaged with the property owner. They have not made a complaint. Given that you all approved the works, this is the only location available. The tower itself will train fire personnel,” Mr Walton said.
Cllr Kelly had pushed the case for the tower to be moved.
“The general consensus was that the drill tower would be located in the back right hand corner of the site but to the shock of a lot of residents from the area it has been installed where it is an eyesore and is only 9 feet away from the front door of an elderly resident.
“While all agree that planning permission was approved, there was no consultation with local representatives or residents on the actual location of the drill tower,” he had said.