Watch: Firefighters in pole position at new Ipswich fire/police station
PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 September 2019
The new police and fire station in Princes Street Ipswich will be the most modern in the county . . . but it will be the only one in Suffolk to have the most iconic of equipment - a firefighters' pole!
Full details of the new station, to be created on the site of the existing Princes Street Fire Station, were shown off to members of the public on Wednesday - and the programme which should see the new building open in spring 2021 was unveiled.
The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore plan to formally lodge a planning application for the changes to the building within the next few weeks.
Because it is formally owned by Suffolk County Council, that is the authority that will consider the planning application although the borough will be a consultee.
If planning permission is granted, the fire service is expected to move out of the building in January or February to allow contractors to move on site in the spring for a 12-month building programme.
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New restrooms are to built on top of the three fire appliance bays in what will be the only permanently-staffed fire station to be shared with the police in Suffolk.
Dave Pederson from the fire service said: "We're putting in a pole - it will be the fastest way for firefighters to get down from the restroom in an emergency.
"It will be the only one in Suffolk. We've got a very modern station we're building here - but sometimes the old technology can't be beaten!"
The government has made a £1.6m grant towards the £3.9m cost of rebuilding the station. The police contribution will be covered by disposing of its Museum Street station which will close when the new building opens in 2021 and the county council had already set aside money to upgrade the 1980s-built fire station.
While the station is being rebuilt, the fire appliances will move to a new town centre-site which is due to be announced within the next few weeks. Mr Pederson said this should not affect their ability to get to any emergency in Ipswich.
And Mr Passmore remains enthusiastic about the plans: "I really hope they get through the planners because I think this will create a really iconic police and fire station for Ipswich in a prominent site."