New Suffolk fire station plans

SUFFOLK Fire Service is set for a £22million cash injection that could see three new stations and a state-of-the-art training centre built.Crews in Lowestoft, Ipswich and Hadleigh are all set to get new bases, with five others set to be rebuilt and another refurbished.

SUFFOLK Fire Service is set for a £22million cash injection that could see three new stations and a state-of-the-art training centre built.

Crews in Lowestoft, Ipswich and Hadleigh are all set to get new bases, with five others set to be rebuilt and another refurbished.

A new training centre will also be created in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, as part of the biggest shake-up of the county's fire service in recent decades.

If approved, building work could begin in 2007-8, although no timetable has yet been finalised for the completion of the scheme.


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Suffolk County Council, which expect to fund the scheme through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), is set to submit a series of planning applications over the next week.

Jane Storey, the council's portfolio holder for resources, finance and performance, said: “This is the biggest building programme for the authority in recent years.

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“The £22 million from Government for this PFI project represents the best value for money for the local taxpayer.

“These planning applications are a major milestone in realising Suffolk's ambitions for building new modern, accessible fire stations for Suffolk. The next step is to gain formal approval from Government to take the project forward.”

Joanna Spicer, the authority's portfolio holder for public protection, appealed for the public to express their views on the plans.

She said: “These applications affect anyone who lives and works in the county and I'd urge everyone to check out the plans and give their views. It is vital that people let us know what they think of the stations during this consultation period.

“You can do this through your district and borough council, local county councillor or direct to the fire and rescue service.”

A decision on whether to build a new station in Yarmouth Road, Ipswich, at the junction with Handford Road, has yet to be finalised as the council weighs up whether it would be more cost-effective to refurbish the current Princes Street base.

Final designs for the new stations have yet to be completed, although the council has artist's impressions of what the new one-bay stations could look like.

While the building work is ongoing, temporary stations will be used to house the crews as and when required. These structures will be placed on the same site of the current stations in the majority of cases.

n The five-bay Colchester Road fire station, in Ipswich, will be rebuilt.

n Either Princes Street fire station, in Ipswich, will be refurbished or build a new station built in Yarmouth Road, at the junction with Handford Road.

n Needham Market fire station will be rebuilt on its current site - Court House, in Barking Road.

n A new training centre will be built at Great Blakenham, on the existing Suffolk County Council site, off the B1113.

n Sudbury fire station, in Gregory Street, will be extensively refurbished.

n The one-bay Nayland fire station will be rebuilt on its current Bear Street site.

n A new one-bay station will be built on Aldham Hill, Hadleigh, with the current Market Place base vacated.

n Clare's one-bay fire station will be rebuilt on its current site, in Station Road.

n A new one-bay fire station to serve north Lowestoft will be built on the existing Normanshurst site, in Normanston Drive.

n A new five-bay fire station to serve south Lowestoft will be built in Stradbroke Road.

Source: Suffolk County Council>

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