EXCLUSIVE: Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) states altered plans for Saughall Massie Fire Station will be submitted “either this month or early January [2016]”

EXCLUSIVE: Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer) states altered plans for Saughall Massie Fire Station will be submitted “either this month or early January [2016]”

                                              

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Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 17th December 2015 L to R Treasurer, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens, Chair Cllr Dave Hanratty
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 17th December 2015 L to R Treasurer, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens, Chair Cllr Dave Hanratty

At a meeting of councillors, on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority held on the 17th of December 2015, Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer), gave an update on the progress of plans for a new fire station at Saughall Massie. You can read his report on this matter on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s website.

Dan Stephens said, “Paragraphs twenty-one to thirty on pages sixteen to eighteen provide an update on the Saughall Massie merger.

A pre-application for advice has been submitted to Wirral Borough Council on the 8th October and a planning meeting was held with planning officers from Wirral on the 4th of November.

Following on from this meeting a letter from Wirral planning officers was sent to the agents acting on behalf of the Authority, but unfortunately was given to a Wirral councillor beforehand.

That letter was subsequently passed on to the Liverpool Echo and the Wirral Globe who ran a story quoting sections of the letter. Clearly that was before we’d had sight of that.

I’ve since written to the Head of Regeneration and Planning at Wirral raising a number of issues that relate to that, and they are outlined within paragraphs twenty-six. Paragraph twenty-seven details the position over the medium pressure gas main which runs under the land.

Following on from the planning advice, the size of the station and the design that we would intend to submit a planning application on, has been significantly reduced to the point where the medium pressure gas main would no longer run underneath the main building, thus negating the requirement for it to be rerouted.

It is our intention to submit a full planning application, taking into account the pre-planning advice that we’ve received from Wirral at some point either this month or early January which would allow for consideration by the Planning Committee at some point next year possibly in April.

Paragraph thirty makes the point that any decision by Wirral to grant planning permission will almost certainly be referred to the Secretary of State. I need to make it clear to Members at this point that if planning permission is not granted, then the inevitable consequence will be the outright closure of West Kirby fire station with the resulting increase in response times.”

The reference to Secretary of State above refers to a government minister (however generally such decisions although taken in a minister’s name are decided by civil servants following the policy the minister decides upon).

The Chair of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority referred later in the meeting to his desire that the press would write "good news" stories about Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. The above story is either good or bad news depending on your political viewpoint.

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