New fire station scheme defended

BOSSES at Endeavour House today defended the decision to consider building a new fire station in Ipswich - even though it seems certain to provoke an objection from the Environment Agency.

BOSSES at Endeavour House today defended the decision to consider building a new fire station in Ipswich - even though it seems certain to provoke an objection from the Environment Agency.

And there are also serious concerns that fire engines leaving a station in Yarmouth Road could find themselves caught up in traffic jams that are notorious around the junction with London Road and West End Road.

The most serious concern about the site is the risk of flooding as it is on an island site between the River Gipping and the River Orwell and is potentially vulnerable to flooding from two sources.

If there is heavy rain downstream the Gipping could burst its banks at the back of the site and a serious tidal surge along the Orwell could cause flooding at the front.

County council fire spokeswoman Joanna Spicer and officials from the fire and protection department insist that no final decision on moving from the Princes Street fire station had yet been taken.

Mrs Spicer said: “We have to go through the full planning process and also calculate whether moving the station would represent better value than staying where we are.

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“That will be a comprehensive and exhaustive process and we have only just started on that.”

The council believes that the Princes Street site would be valuable to a developer, and the money it could raise from it could pay for a new fire station at Yarmouth Road.

However officials accept there is likely to be an objection from the Environment Agency, but believe that arguments in favour of moving to Yarmouth Road could outweigh the objection.

Strong Environment Agency objections have already forced the abandonment of proposals to build a new police station on the site of the Ipswich Buses depot in Constantine Road - and that is not as obviously vulnerable to flooding as the Yarmouth Road site.