New fire station for Crawley is ‘long overdue’

Fire engine outside Crawley existing fire station in Ifield Drive
Fire engine outside Crawley existing fire station in Ifield Drive

A new fire station for Crawley is ‘long overdue’ and should be built - Labour councillors have argued.

The town was promised a new facility by West Sussex County Council in 2006 to replace the current station in Ifield Avenue, according to motion due to be debated by Crawley Borough Council on Wednesday.

However no plans have been progressed and the project has not been included in the county council’s latest capital programme unveiled this week.

The motion, submitted by Michael Jones, CBC’s cabinet member for public protection and community engagement, is calling on the county council to ‘take the necessary steps’ to build a new fire station off the Cheals roundabout.

He said that the reasons why the current station should be replaced are ‘even more relevant now than when it was first proposed’, as the Ifield Drive station is not in the best location to provide optimum cover, is in poor condition, and is beyond its design life.

The motion has been seconded by CBC leader Peter Lamb.

If the motion is agreed it will see CBC ‘urge WSCC to take the steps necessary to build a new fire station for Crawley, and to authorise officers to enter into negotiations with WSCC to transfer the land currently owned by CBC adjacent to Cheals roundabout for either a zero or nominal sum, conditional upon the land being used to provide the new fire station’.

The motion reads: “This council notes the promised new fire station for Crawley, first put forward in 2006 by West Sussex County Council (WSCC), remains unbuilt and does not even form part of the list of works on the county council’s most up to date proposals for its future capital programme.

“This council believes that a new fire station for the town is long overdue, and that the reasons why the current fire station should be replaced are even more relevant now than when it was first proposed.

“This council also believes that WSCC has a moral duty to provide the most modern and effective fire cover for the people of Crawley and the surrounding area, and that a previous report from the county council itself stated that the existing Ifield Avenue station is no longer in the best location to provide optimum cover either within the North of the County or for areas in Crawley at the highest risk, is beyond its design life, in poor condition and in need of replacement.”

West Sussex County Council has been approached for comment.

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