Guyra SES headquarters site disputed in Armidale Council meeting

Current HQ.
Current HQ.

The new location for Guyra’s State Emergency Service branch was in hot debate at last week’s council meeting – and not everyone is happy with the proposed new site.

The selected site for the new SES headquarters is lots 13 and 14 or 27 Lockaber Crescent.

While it gained backing from council, Dot Vickery spoke against building the headquarters in a residential area.

She said it would be a huge disturbance to residents.

“I feel this is an unacceptable decision,” she said.

“This is in the centre of a residential area with quite a few families living with children.”

Mrs Vickery suggested the land between the hospital and sporting fields, owned by council, would be a better option.

Armidale Regional Council backed the decision to relocate the local headquarters earlier this year after the existing building (on the highway) was deemed no longer suitable to support the responsibilities of the unit and its 30 volunteers.

The junction of Ollera and Malpas streets was the first proposed location but further investigation into the ownership of the vacant lot revealed that council does not own it. It is owned by the Roads and Maritime Service.

“The existing facility we have is split over two buildings,” regional controller for NSW SES north west, Andrew Galvin, told The Argus earlier this year.

“The new building will be able to accommodate all of our equipment, allow everything to be housed under one roof and be purpose built.”

ARC senior projects engineer Ralf Stoeckeler said a Development Application and Construction Certificate was lodged in October and, once approved, tenders will be called in early December with a closing date before Christmas.

It is anticipated that construction will commence on the new headquarters next February and the project should be completed by the end of May.