Work starts on town’s new fire station
PUBLISHED: 10:44 08 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:44 08 February 2013
WORK has started on a new fire station for the Reydon and Southwold area.
County, district and town councillors joined representatives from Suffolk fire service and the building company SEH French for a ground-breaking event at the site off Fountain Way, Reydon, yesterday.
Pupils from Reydon Primary School also watched the official ceremony.
The new building, which is due to be completed in August, will replace Southwold Fire Station which is no longer deemed fit for purpose.
The town’s 11 retained firefighters and single fire engine are being relocated to the new site because of the poor conditions of the ageing base in Station Road which, the fire service says, would have required a “significant” sum of money to keep it in working order.
The new station – which is less than a mile away – will also incorporate modern features including a sprinkler system, improved access for people with disabilities, better welfare facilities for firefighters and a community room.
Southwold mayor Michael Ladd said: “I think it is a positive thing for Southwold and Reydon that the fire station is being retained in this community.
“It is going to be a purpose-built station which is great news. The existing one is 48 years old and creaking at the seams.
“I think all of the fire crew now live in Reydon so response times are not going to be much different.
“It is sad there isn’t going to a be a fire station in Southwold any more because there has always been one but the new one will be a mile up the road.”
Proceeds from the sale of the old fire station will fund the new building.
Southwold Town Council has registered an interest in bidding for the Station Road site. Mr Ladd said part of the plot could eventually be used for affordable housing.
He added: “It is a community building so we would like to retain that land in the community but it is early days and we haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Mark Sanderson, assistant chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service welcomed the start of the work. He said: “The ground breaking today was a key milestone for us.
“The new fire station will serve the communities of Southwold and Reydon and further afield. The county councils investment in the fire station will help our crews to continue to deliver what I believe is an exceptional front-line service to our communities.”