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Worcester fire station's move to Tolladine accepted
WORCESTER’S fire station has secured council backing to relocate to Tolladine - despite concerns the move takes it away from the city centre.
The planning committee has agreed that Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service can end its 70-year stint in Copenhagen Street for a new out-of-town HQ.
The new base will be at Great Western Business Park, off Tolladine Road in a purpose built station with top class training facilities on site.
It was backed unanimously, despite some worries being expressed around the new location.
Councillor Aubrey Tarbuck said: “Where the station is at the moment, you’ve got a really quick exit for them to get away.
“This isn’t in the city centre and if we get a fire, say on the west side of the city they will need to get across there.
“I am certain this must have been looked at, is it any better?”
Other politicians said they were prepared to back it, but wanted assurances planning officers were happy about it.
Councillor Roger Berry said: “This is a major, historic decision for the fire service to move away from the city centre site they’ve been in almost forever.
“They are looking at an industrial estate with plenty of other uses already, and we’ve got to think about members of the public who want to get access to it, and emergency access too.
“We don’t want people run over by fire engines or engines stuck, it’s things like that we need to think about.”
Planning officer Alan Coleman said he had no objections to the move, and that the park was considered an “employment site” rather than an industrial one.
The report on the move says Tolladine Road is “one of the main arterial routes” in and out of the city, and that priority access will be provided at the junction with McKenzie Way.
It also says the fire service looked at the impact on call-outs via a “risk mapping” system, and found it will not be an issue.
The station will have 38 car parking spaces for staff and four for visitors, storage areas, offices, lecture facilities and will incorporate training facilities with provision for the Young Firefighters Association.
The construction work will be handled by St Modwen, and will take around 12 months to complete.
The developer says it aims to create one of the most modern fire service bases in the country.
Once open, the Copenhagen Street building will be sold off.
After the meeting chief fire officer Mark Yates said: “Our current fire station has served us well for the last 70 years but lacks modern training facilities and is no longer fit for purpose.
“The site is very constricted and the building is very costly to maintain due to its age and design.
“Obviously the decision to build a new fire station in the current economic climate had to be carefully considered, but a new station for Worcester is vital if we are to provide a cost-effective and safe, fit-for-purpose location for our crews to work from.
“The building of this new station demonstrates our commitment to investing in the safety of the people who live in the city as well as our firefighters.”
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