Fire HQ's move to Keynsham is on the back burner

Published on: 04 Mar 2016

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March 2016

The plan to relocate to Keynsham appears to be firmly on the back burner for Avon Fire Authority.

Proposals had been drawn up for a move to Temple Street from the current Bristol city centre premises, which would see the site of the former Keynsham Fire Station redeveloped.

But at a meeting to discuss the options in February, it was decided that the authority should look at the viability of moving to Avon and Somerset Police HQ in Portishead as the preferred option.

In a report to members – councillors appointed from the four councils in the former Avon area – officers said a decision on the best option needed to be made “imminently”.

Of the three options – Keynsham, the police HQ and a site at Emersons Green – a move to Portishead would result in a saving of around £9 million in capital building costs, the report said, and referred to the Government’s drive for increased collaboration between emergency services.

Authority chairman Peter Abraham said all the costs and implications of the preferred option would now be looked at and brought to a future meeting.

He told Keynshamvoice: “Looking at the three options, without doubt it looks at this stage as though Portishead is the best value and also meets the new criteria that the fire service has greater cooperation with the police service.”

While he said there were some “constraints on parking and size” at the Keynsham site, he added that the other options hadn’t been ruled out and no final decision had been made.

Keynsham South councillor Alan Hale, who is also a member of Avon Fire Authority, said, as a councillor for the town, it was disappointing that it appeared the HQ was no longer coming to Keynsham.

He said: “It’s a loss to the town, particularly to the traders who would have had all of that additional footfall.

“Should the deal with the police not come to fruition, I would like to think that the fire authority will once again look at the plans they had for a brand new HQ and perhaps revisit the likelihood of coming to the town.”

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