Ipswich fire appliances to share Army Reserve Centre while station is rebuilt
PUBLISHED: 05:30 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:00 07 January 2020
Appliances based at Princes Street Fire Station in Ipswich are due to move to the Army Reserve Centre in Yarmouth Road later this year.
They will be based there for several months while the fire station is rebuilt as a new 'blue light centre' as Central Ipswich police station and a base for on-call ambulances.
It was announced in September that the fire station would be redeveloped in a £3.9m project by Suffolk County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore.
At the time the county could not confirm where the appliances would be based while their station is rebuilt - but a spokesman was able to confirm they would be moving to Yarmouth Road.
The centre is home to 202 (Ipswich) Transport Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, and 677 Squadron of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps.
It is where 'Green Goddess' fire appliances were based when the army was called in to provide cover during fire service strikes in 1977 and 2002.
They are expected to move there when rebuilding starts later this year.
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A planning application for the work is due to be discussed by Suffolk County Council's development and regulation committee over the next few weeks and, if approved, work should start in the summer.
It is hoped it will be completed by the second half of 2021, and police and the fire service will be operating from the site by the end of that year.
The town's current police station in Museum Street will close and will be sold off once officers have moved into Princes Street.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "The project is moving ahead well - we had a meeting before Christmas to discuss how things were progressing - and it is proceeding very well."
He said that moving into a shared site with the fire service in the heart of the business district would give the police a presence in central Ipswich it did not have in Museum Street, which is not a particularly busy part of the town centre.
Although the fire appliance bays will remain, most of the station will be completely rebuilt.
Accommodation for firefighters will be built above the vehicle bays, and offices for the police built at the side of the building fronting on to Russell Road.
Senior fire officers believe that there will be no reduction in fire cover during rebuilding work, with appliances able to react as quickly as they can currently.