Land swap deal approved to create 'fire station of the future' in Hebburn
Brigade chiefs have spent several years working on the proposals, which have faced further delays due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
But development is expected to begin in earnest soon, after bosses at South Tyneside Council agreed to put up land in Campbell Park Road, near the Lukes Lane estate, for the project to go ahead.
A spokesperson for the borough council said: “Cabinet approved the sale of land at Campbell Park Road, Hebburn to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).
“The fire service has identified that their existing station on Victoria road West is not suitable for their long-term operational requirements.
“Acquisition of land at the new location will allow them to develop a new, purpose-built tri-station facility.
“In addition, Cabinet approved acquisition by the council of the existing fire station site on Victoria Road West.”
The council’s decision to release the land was made at a meeting of the ruling cabinet on May 19, but details can only now be confirmed as concerns about financial confidentiality meant discussions had to be held behind closed doors.
Bosses at TWFRS have set aside about £5 million for the new station in Hebburn, which will replace the brigade’s existing base in the town.
The new facility will be a ‘tri-station’, which will also house police and paramedic services.
Speaking in November 2020, chief fire office Chris Lowther said the plans offered some ‘really interesting opportunities’ to build a ‘fire station for the future’.
He also raised the prospect of it being used to raise cash for the brigade by generating electricity which could be sold back to the National Grid.
A spokesperson for TWFRS said: “Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority can confirm the acquisition of land at Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, for its planned new, purpose-built tri-station.
“As part of the deal South Tyneside Council will acquire the existing Hebburn fire station site.”
No plans have yet been confirmed for what South Tyneside Council expects to do with the current fire station site in Victoria Road West once the swap deal is completed.