Budget is too tight for new fire station at Abbey Stadium

Abbey Stadium

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Aldridge

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

WILTSHIRE Fire and Rescue has welcomed the potential offer of land in North Swindon for a new fire station but has said it is not something it can progress with in the near future.

The companies behind the Abbey Stadium development have put in an application remove the commercial space which was part of the initial agreement and replace it with around 100 extra houses.

On top of that, Landvest Homes and Gaming International has set aside land for a possible fire station.

The fire service has said with Swindon set to expand the location would be ideal for a new station but with finances tight due to Government cuts, it is not something they can pursue in the short term.

However, it has not been ruled out entirely and the offer will remain open if the application is accepted.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Aldridge said: “A number of discussions have been held between Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and the developer over the possibility of building a new fire station as part of this wider scheme.

“While the Service welcomes the offer of this land, especially as this is a location ideally suited for a new fire station to serve the Swindon area, we have made it clear to the developer that this is not something we are in a position to explore further at this time.

“They have indicated that they are happy for the offer to stand going forward and, if and when we are able to revisit the proposal, we know that we have the opportunity to open discussions with them.”

The pocket of land being identified for a possible fire station would be adjacent to Lady Lane, on the northern part of the site, which currently has permission for 450 homes and a new stadium.

Before becoming a possible fire station, it would be an extra car park for the stadium.

If the application is successful and the fire service does eventually move forward, then the land will be transferred to the council for £1 to then be built on.

A fundamental reason for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue ruling it out in the short term is because of budget pressures. It is expecting government grants to drop by 50 per cent in the coming years, which equates to a fifth of the overall funding.

As a result talks are ongoing with Dorset Fire and Rescue about a possible merger to reduce costs. The changes would predominantly be back-of-house but cuts to frontline services have not been ruled out.

A public consultation on the plans is set to start on Monday and full details will be on www.wiltsfire.gov.uk.

Comments (7)

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9:58am Tue 10 Jun 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

The budget will also be too tight for a new speedway stadium.
Happy to be proved wrong, but that's what I have come to expect from Swindon Borough Corruption 💩
The budget will also be too tight for a new speedway stadium. Happy to be proved wrong, but that's what I have come to expect from Swindon Borough Corruption 💩 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 4

10:52am Tue 10 Jun 14

greenpacer says...

They want more housing, but housing needs support services in all forms. So this government will have to wake up and take there head out of the sand !
They want more housing, but housing needs support services in all forms. So this government will have to wake up and take there head out of the sand ! greenpacer
  • Score: 1

10:56am Tue 10 Jun 14

twasadawf says...

Guess the Fire Station in stratton is to far away to service this area,
Guess the Fire Station in stratton is to far away to service this area, twasadawf
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Tue 10 Jun 14

BCDR99 says...

Isn't this exactly the sort of thing that developers should be TOLD to include in any development at their own cost? They make enough money from the houses so they should be forced to build essential services that the town needs as a result of their development. Isn't this what Section 106 is supposed to be all about?
Isn't this exactly the sort of thing that developers should be TOLD to include in any development at their own cost? They make enough money from the houses so they should be forced to build essential services that the town needs as a result of their development. Isn't this what Section 106 is supposed to be all about? BCDR99
  • Score: 5

2:23pm Tue 10 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Yet the Fire service budget is not to tight to let firemen retire early with a very generous pension........
Yet the Fire service budget is not to tight to let firemen retire early with a very generous pension........ A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 3

10:03pm Tue 10 Jun 14

beach1e says...

swindon council should have insisted that this was funded by the developers altho that may have cut into any backhanders that may have gone to people in the council..if that sort of thing goes on....
swindon council should have insisted that this was funded by the developers altho that may have cut into any backhanders that may have gone to people in the council..if that sort of thing goes on.... beach1e
  • Score: 3

7:41pm Wed 11 Jun 14

GANGWARILY says...

Totally ignoring A Baron Cohen's ill informed comment... EXCLUSIVE... Due to the austerity measures imposed by central government, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will become officially bankrupt in 2015. Yes bankrupt!!!! The funding (for this public service) has been reduced to such a degree that they will no longer be able to provide the services required for public safety. What can they do? Options are a merge with Dorset FRS who are in similar financial state.
Totally ignoring A Baron Cohen's ill informed comment... EXCLUSIVE... Due to the austerity measures imposed by central government, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will become officially bankrupt in 2015. Yes bankrupt!!!! The funding (for this public service) has been reduced to such a degree that they will no longer be able to provide the services required for public safety. What can they do? Options are a merge with Dorset FRS who are in similar financial state. GANGWARILY
  • Score: -1

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