New fire station could be scuppered

Planning rules could scupper a Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service bid to shut stations in Belper and Duffield and replace them with a single one in Milford, it has emerged.

This week Belper town councillors voiced ‘grave reservations’ about the planned closures, with former Amber Valley planning committee chairman Cllr Alan Cox revealing that the Duffield site could not be used for anything other than a fire station.

He said permission to build on the Greenbelt site was originally granted in 1999 under ‘very special circumstances’ which was the community need for a new station.

Outline planning permission for the station was granted after a public inquiry in August 2000 heard a new station was needed because the old one on Snake Lane, built in 1926, was in danger of collapsing.

The present station opened in 2003.

At the town council meeting, Cllr Alan Broughton claimed: “To site the new station in Milford seems a bit of a farce. Not only will it put lives at risk but if we’re not careful we could lose valuable personnel. It’s a very badly thought-out plan.”

He said the move would leave retained firefighters with longer journeys to the new station that could delay reponse times to fires.