St John Oamaru is formally seeking permission to build its new emergency ambulance base at Awamoa Park.

However, before any plans are progressed, the Waitaki District Council will under take public consultation from February 26 to get the community’s perspective on the move.

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.

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

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

“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 had been looking for alternative options since 2014. Six sites were investigated and Awamoa Park was identified as the most suitable during engagement with the council nearly four years ago.

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

“If you have a view on whether it should proceed or not, then we want to hear from you,” Mr Kircher said.

“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.”

St John’s present building was constructed in 1981 and it moved in the same year. It now required extensive renovation and extra facilities, including more overnight accommodation for an increasing number of staff members, due to national double-crewing standards.

zone, constrained for further expansion and there were access limitations which impacted St John’s capability to respond to an emergency.

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

would be released on May 11.