CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has resubmitted plans to replace the fire station in Chester with a state-of-the-art facility.

The service wants to upgrade the current, ageing building on St Anne Street, and replace it with a new station that would feature modern training facilities, a better working environment, and more space and improved facilities for community engagement.

A previous application was rejected by the Cheshire West & Chester planning committee in November last year, on the grounds that it adversely impacted neighbouring properties – although members agreed that the condition of the existing fire station was substandard and that the firefighters and staff working there deserved better.

A decision is expected to be made on the altered plans when the committee meets in June.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gus O’Rourke said: “We maintain that the current station, which was built in 1970, is now too large and is expensive to run, and is generally no longer fit for purpose.

“We’ve explored a number of options and believe that a new build will be economical and cost-effective to run and will better meet the needs of a modern day firefighter. This is a better option than refurbishing the existing building.”

The new station will also be more environmentally friendly, have improved accessibility with a lift installed (not available at the current site), and an enhanced training area that will feature a new training tower, breathing apparatus building, and road traffic collision training area.

ACFO O’Rourke added: “The decision to build a new fire station at Chester has no bearing on the number of fire engines based there. A wider review planned for later this year will look separately at emergency cover across the whole county, including the Chester area. The new fire station will have the capacity to house another fire engine.

“In the meantime, residents should be reassured that the city continues to receive excellent response times with a fire engine arriving at emergencies in around 7 minutes on average. Around 80% of emergencies require only one fire engine and when a second is required that usually comes from the nearby fire station at Powey Lane, Mollington, arriving in 12 minutes on average. This arrangement has been operating successfully for over two years.

“Our crews in Chester do a fantastic job, they are prepared to put their lives on the line every day to save lives – they deserve to have a comfortable, modern working environment that meets the needs of a modern day firefighter.”