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New fire station taking shape in Kent Street, York
8:39am Monday 9th December 2013 in News
THE construction of a new fire station for York is nearing completion.
North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service’s station on the site of the former Kent Street coach park, near York Barbican, will replace its old city centre base in Clifford Street next year.
The £2.3 million new complex will have three vehicle bays, a training tower and a fire safety office, as well as a community room available for use by local groups.
Spokeswoman Sarah Woodcock said the Kent Street station should be completed by February and operational by April, after which firefighters will move across from Clifford Street.
A rescue boat will be based in Kent Street, but there will only be one whole-time crewed fire engine, compared with the two engines currently based in Clifford Street.
One of the engines will be transferred to another fire station on the outer ring road, near Huntington.
The relocation met with stiff opposition from conservation groups such as York Civic Trust and York Conservation Trust, and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) when it was first mooted.
They raised concerns that a reduction in city centre fire cover would put the many medieval timber-framed buildings and their occupants at increased risk if a major blaze broke out.
But fire chiefs dismissed the claims, and said the new arrangements would mean better fire cover for 31,000 residents in communities in the northern part of the city, such as Huntington and Clifton Moor, and would assist in dealing with road accidents.
They also said there would only be a very slight increase in the time taken by firefighters to get to city centre properties.
When North Yorkshire Fire Authority eventually gave the plans the go-ahead, it imposed a series of conditions, including a commitment for officers to review the impact 12 months after completion.
It was also agreed the new station should have three bays, so the second engine could be brought back into the centre if the change was found to have been a mistake.
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