Concerns over plans to extend village fire station

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CONCERNS have been raised over plans to extend a village fire station to provide a base for police.

A single-storey extension would be built at the back of Elmswell Fire Station to create an office, store and lobby for the police service, which would use three dedicated parking spaces outside.

The size of a community room would be reduced to give fire and rescue staff ‘a proper, readily accessible store’ for their personal protective equipment.

The move is part of a joint venture between the two services to share pemises with similar proposals earmarked for facilities in Ixworth and Debenham.

However, Elmswell Parish Council has objected to the plan arguing that parking on and next to the site, in School Road, ‘already poses problems of access’ when fire crews need to get to the station ‘as a matter of life saving emergency’.

In a letter to Suffolk County Council Council’s planning department, the parish council noted that the police station car park always had two patrol cars and sometimes up to as many as seven other vehicles.

It added that there was a ‘serious reduction’ in space to the community room and the ‘various charitable groups who enjoy this facility will be deprived of this important venue’.

The location of the extension was amended to step it back from a resident’s boundary.

The residents though, say the proposals will ‘still make a signifant impact’ on the natural light received in their kitchen, dining room, lounge and garden.

In a report, David Palk, the county council’s development manager, said there was ‘adequate on-site parking’ to ensure a ‘safe’ entry and exit from the facility. He added: “The community room will be retained and no objections to the proposals have been received from current users of the facility.

“It is not considered that the amenity of the adjacent residents would be adversely affected.”

A decision will be made by the county’s development control committee on April 19.