Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is pushing ahead with plans to build an operational hub in the green belt.

The service will submit a planning application for a base by the A5117 at the end of the M56 on land at Rendova Farm, Powey Lane, Mollington, with easy access to the motorway network for dealing with collisions and other incidents.

It would house a traditional fire engine together with specialist vehicles to deal with risks specific to Chester and Ellesmere Port, such as heritage buildings and industrial complexes.

An artist's impression of the proposed new fire station at Mollington
An artist's impression of the proposed new fire station at Mollington

But the service could have a fight on its hands because Mollington Parish Council and ward borough councillor Brian Crowe are against the green belt development having previously fought off the student village at Mollington and a proposed travellers’ site, both in the green belt.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock is keen to implement his plans which would see Chester Fire Station losing its second engine but with the new hub as back-up for the city, Ellesmere Port and Neston and to provide cover for the M53 and M56 motorways.

Cllr Bob Rudd, a member of the fire authority, said: “The fire authority is minded to go ahead with it subject to getting planning permission. The meeting agreed we should proceed on that basis, so if we don’t get planning permission they won’t build it and they won’t buy the land.”

Cllr Rudd said it would be down to senior fire officers to come up with the ‘very special circumstances’ required to justify building in the green belt.

He said the site was one of about 30 that had been considered including at Backford, a site near Chester Zoo, Oakwood Farm in Saughall and the former Little Chef in Saughall.

Fire service bosses are consulting the public over the plans.