New fire station could be on cards

A NEW fire station could be built in Ipswich to replace the one at Princes Street, it can be revealed today.Endeavour House bosses are today due to decide whether to go ahead with a new building programme to replace and upgrade several fire stations across the county.

A NEW fire station could be built in Ipswich to replace the one at Princes Street, it can be revealed today.

Endeavour House bosses are today due to decide whether to go ahead with a new building programme to replace and upgrade several fire stations across the county.

If given the go-ahead the new station could be built less than a mile away from its current location.

And although the alternative locations will not be released until after the meeting, it is believe to be in the West End Road area.

As previously revealed in The Evening Star, a new fire station is also set to be built at Colchester Road on land currently occupied by the existing fire station and the former fire headquarters buildings.

Until recently it was thought that the Princes Street Fire Station would remain despite any reorganisation.

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A final decision on whether to build a new fire station in central Ipswich is still several months away and today the cabinet was deciding whether to go ahead with a detailed examination of the proposal.

The new fire stations will be built under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI). They will be built and owned by a private-sector contractor and leased to the county for an annual rent.

A new training centre for the fire service and other driving organisations - including the ambulance service and road safety officials - is also set to be built in the Ipswich area under the PFI scheme.

The decision to consider moving the Princes Street Station comes only a few months after senior fire officials said they did not think there could be a better position for a station near the town centre.

Suffolk's Public Protection spokeswoman Joanna Spicer said: “We are talking about a site just down the road from the existing fire station - we have spoken to firefighters who are enthusiastic about moving to a completely new station.

“The Princes Street site has now become very valuable with the Ipswich Village developments going up around there - and it may well be more cost-effective to build a new station on a new site nearby and using the money from the sale of that land to pay for it.

“Whatever decision we take, it will have to give us the best possible value. If it works out cheaper to refurbish the existing Princes Street site then we will do that.”

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