Confusion over fire station plans

THE controversy over the siting of a new fire station headquarters next to a high school has taken a new twist after the plans were suddenly withdrawn.

By Richard Smith

THE controversy over the siting of a new fire station headquarters next to a high school has taken a new twist after the plans were suddenly withdrawn.

Planners have gone back to the drawing board after the plans, submitted for land close to Kesgrave High School on the A1214 near Ipswich, were judged to have insufficient detail.

The plans had just been given to Suffolk Coastal District Council when they were taken away again.


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It is understood they did not give enough information on the decision not to use other locations and that the application was too basic for such a major development.

It was announced at the end of April that the county council had submitted an application for planning permission to build a five-berth station in Kesgrave.

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However, a spokeswoman for the county council said the application had been made in error and it was never formally submitted.

“Work is still in progress on a formal planning application,” she added.

There are two plans for land on the northern side of the road. Part of the land could be used for a fire station and land further north is earmarked for an extension to the school's playing fields.

The possibility of a fire station on a road used by 22,000 vehicles daily and next to the school has alarmed residents.

Many of the schoolchildren use bicycles and it is feared they could be vulnerable.

Veronica Read, Kesgrave town council clerk, said: “It appears that there has been some confusion.

“There has been a meeting at the county council and it was decided that the fire station plan should be withdrawn temporarily and the fire service arm of the county council has been asked to supply more information.

“The plan was very, very basic and just showed the area of the site that they would have used.

“I understand that there will be another meeting at the county council and this will decide whether to resubmit an application for a site next to the high school, go for another site or just not do anything at this point in time.”

Other possible sites for a fire station have included next to the park and ride at Martlesham or on the industrial estate.

These locations have concerned Woodbridge town councillors, worried that the future of the town's part-time station could be at risk because Martlesham full-time crews would be able to respond to an emergency quicker.

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