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Homes plan for Durham fire brigade HQ
DURHAM fire brigade is hoping to get the go-ahead to demolish its ageing headquarters and build houses on the site.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority (CDDFRA) has asked Durham County Council for outline planning permission to knock down its old administrative base and Durham City fire station, along with ambulance station buildings, on Finchale Road, Framwellgate Moor, and build up to 64 homes on the site.
The brigade has been in talks with the council on the move since early 2009.
It got the all-clear to build a new fire station off the A691 Consett road, near Sniperley park and ride, in June, despite concerns the site is Greenbelt land.
A few weeks later, permission was granted for a new state-of-the-art fire training centre on Bowburn South Industrial Estate.
Its headquarters moved to the former North East Fire Control Centre, on Belmont Industrial Estate, in September.
The Finchale Road site covers nearly five hectares, in a congested residential area.
Little detail has been published on the planned homes, although it is suggested they would be two and two-and-a-half storeys high.
The new estate would have just one access, the existing entrance off Finchale Road.
Now a planning application has been submitted, there will be a statutory consultation period.
Further detail can be found at the council’s online planning portal via durham.gov.uk, using the planning reference CMA/4/111.
The scheme is likely to go before the council’s county planning committee early in the new year.
In its supporting statement, Newcastle-based project agents Hedley Planning Services say the existing fire station is “obsolescent on a number of fronts” and the majority of buildings are at the end of their useful life, while the new station would be modern and “future proofed”.
In building a new headquarters and selling its old site for housing, the fire brigade would be following the example of Durham Police, which will move to a new HQ just yards from its existing base in Aykley Heads, Durham City, in spring 2014.
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