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Academy gets go-ahead for fire training centre

The proposed home of a new fire training facility for mariners (Photograph from planning documents)

A plan to create a fire training facility for sailors at a vacant Sandys building has been given the go-ahead.

The Bermuda Maritime Academy proposed the training facility be established at a building formerly used by Sea Cadets on Malabar Road, opposite Black Bay and near the historic Royal Navy Graveyard, Ireland Island South.

The BMA said the site would be used to provide mariners with internationally recognised training.

According to planning documents, the proposal was approved with the support of a planning officer last month.

The officer said in a report that while the building had recently been used as a retail space, the new proposed use was more closely aligned with its previous life as a home of the Sea Cadets.

“This application is unique in that it is highly specialised and not the type of use of which the island would have multiple locations of and therefore not typically assessed,” the report stated.

“The use itself is considered practical educational focused on the marine environment.

“Further, the components that make up this application are considered temporary in so far as if the use ceased at this location, it could easily be removed from the site since nothing permanent is proposed.”

The report said that the proposed ancillary structures would only be partially visible given its location on the east of the existing building.

“In addition, it will be painted green in an effort to have it blend in with the surrounding vegetation,” the report writer added.

“These two mitigation measures have been incorporated as a condition of approval.”

While the planning officer noted that the building was listed, the façade will not be impacted and the Historical Building Advisory Committee raised no concerns about the plan.

The report added that the location was preferable to the original proposed location near the Bull’s Head Car Park in Pembroke.

That application was withdrawn after objections were raised.

The BMA has said the site would be used to offer mariners fire prevention and fire fighting training in line with the Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers, which sets minimum standards for commercial mariners on board vessels.

The academy has said that offering the course locally would prevent local mariners from having to travel overseas to undergo training to meet international safety standards.

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Published September 21, 2023 at 7:50 am (Updated September 21, 2023 at 7:48 am)

Academy gets go-ahead for fire training centre

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