Derbyshire fire station set to be demolished to make way for multi-million-pound replacement

A Derbyshire fire station is set to be demolished to make way for a multi-million-pound replacement.

By Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 11:58 am

The plans, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, would see the current facility in Chesterfield Road, Matlock, bulldozed and a modern replacement built on the same site.

In the fire service’s budget plans, proposed last year, it announced that three new fire stations would be built in Glossop, Matlock and New Mills – at a total cost of nearly £9 million.

Its plans for Matlock’s ageing fire station, built more than 60 years ago, are due to cost £3.2 million.

Under the plans, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, the current facility would be bulldozed and a modern replacement built on the same site. .

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This will largely paid for through “fire houses” on-site, which used to provide accommodation for firefighters so that they could be nearby to respond to incidents.

An alternative option for a £3.7 million scheme which would have included a new space for the town’s police unit has been disregarded, due to the police deeming the Chesterfield Road site “unsuitable”.

Plans submitted to Derbyshire Dales District Council say that the new facility would accommodate two fire engines and include a new fire tower and “smoke house” for training purposes.

An artist's imoression of how the new station could look

The fire service says the scheme is largely being funded by the sale of 10 former fire houses on the site, which are said to be no longer required. The two remaining houses will be retained for now but sold at a later date.

It says that while the existing station is demolished services would be moved to temporary facilities either on site or elsewhere in the town.

Documents submitted by JTP Architects, on behalf of the fire service, say: “Following the change of duty system at Matlock, which was approved in March 2018, the 12 service houses on-site became surplus to requirements and a strategy to sell 10 as they became vacant, and the retention of two in lieu of future development, was implemented.

“At the time of writing, the 10 properties have been sold as intended and the remaining two will be sold when it is deemed that they are no longer required as part of the proposed development.

“The existing fire station was constructed circa 1959 and is now over 60 years old and has reached the end of its functional and operational life.

“The building is spatially inefficient and is no longer fit for purpose to meet the operational requirements of the duty system and for the needs of a modern, diverse service.

“The proposed scheme aims to achieve a design which is spatially efficient and provides all the facilities a modern fire station building requires.

“A new build on-site offers a more practical option than refurbishing what is a 60-year-old building.

“Due to changes in the duty system, the houses in which operational firefighters lived are no longer required.

“The fire station is now staffed in the daytime during the working week only with evening and weekend emergency response provided by ‘on-call’ firefighters who live off-site throughout Matlock.”

Budget papers published last year showed that six fire houses had been sold at the Matlock site, bringing in £1 million, with further sales of two more houses expected to bring in around £360,000.