Cheshire Fire Authority is selling Chester Fire Station as part of a deal that would see a new station built nearby.
The fire station in St Anne Street, Newtown, is in an ideal position being so close to Chester’s historic city centre but is now too large for its purpose.
And later this year one full-time fire engine will be re-located to a new fire hub at Mollington which is designed to back up both Chester and Ellesmere Port but also provide easy access to the motorway network to deal with road accidents.
Fire authority minutes reveal a private discussion was held on February 10, 2016, about the future of Chester Fire Station with limited detail available in the public domain at the moment.
The minutes read: ”The head of legal and democratic services introduced the report which asked members to consider proposals relating to Chester Fire Station and sought approval for officers to negotiate and conclude an agreement which would, if delivered, see the construction of a new fire station, sale of the existing fire station and the receipt of a capital payment for the authority.
“Members discussed the report and a number of queries were raised in relation to the terms of necessary commercial agreements and assurances in respect of the quality of any new fire station.”
It was resolved that: “Officers be authorised to negotiate and conclude an agreement with one of the interested parties (whose proposals are described in the report) upon terms that satisfactorily safeguard the authority’s interest.”
However, The Chronicle understands the consent of the full fire authority would be needed for any commercial deal to be confirmed. It is believed the replacement fire station would be built nearby as the current location is still regarded as ideal.
There have been rumours floating around for months about whether Chester Fire Station would be sold off and a smaller site secured. One rumour suggested developers may even be interested in creating student accommodation, possibly incorporating a fire station underneath.
When asked about the speculation, a Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said on November 25 last year: “The authority keeps the location and potential development of all its stations under review but there are currently no formal plans for further changes at Chester."