July 29 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Consultation is under way on plans for police to share a home with on-call firefighters in a Suffolk town.
The £600,000 project could see Woodbridge officers move from their base in Grundisburgh Road to the local fire station in Theatre Street.
Proposals includes extending the fire station to house both services.
Suffolk County Council’s head of public protection, Colin Spence, said shared stations had already worked well in Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham and Framlingham. He added: “Our plans to develop and improve Woodbridge fire station will help us become even more cost effective, we will be able to work much more closely together in Woodbridge and also improve vital emergency services property.”
Funding for the project will be split by the two services, but it is hoped the Government will help pay for building work at the station.
Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said working together was key to meeting financial challenges. He added: “I am very pleased with the existing shared stations across the county - it saves money and improves the joint working of these two key blue-light services.”
Mr Passmore said the sale of the police station was in the process of being completed with a developer.
Local county councillor Caroline Page gave her backing. She said: “I am very supportive of plans to consolidate the premises. Not only is it closer to the town centre, but I hope it could also encourage greater understanding of other aspects of the services - for example, the brilliant Firebreak youth engagement project run by the fire service.”
Mayor of Woodbridge and district councillor, Geoff Holdcroft said: “I think it’s a great way to retain a police presence in the town. It will be a lot more accessible to most people, although I do have some concern about car parking - the police station has significantly more.”
If approved, work would start this summer and be complete for next March. It would include five new parking spaces and a garage for an emergency vehicle.
The public can inspect plans at the fire station from 3pm-7pm on Thursday, June 5, or send feedback to Fire.BusinessSupport@suffolk.gov.uk quoting Woodbridge Consultation.