LONG-AWAITED plans which will see Barnsley’s main fire station demolished in order to create a new £4m replacement have been submitted to Barnsley Council.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue last week announced their plan to move to a temporary base at Zenith Park on Whaley Road, Barugh Green, for up to two years while the new station is built on its current Broadway site in Kingstone.

But now final plans for the all-new building have been revealed and planning permission is being sought in order to press ahead with the scheme, which is already behind schedule.

A planning statement said the existing three-storey station will be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building, although an on-site sub-station and training tower will be retained.

If approved by the council’s planning bosses, it will house three fire engines and their crews and will have a smaller footprint than the existing seven-bay station which is deemed to be oversized.

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“The proposals simply seek to improve and rationalise the existing fire station facilities,” the planning statement added. “In doing so, the proposals will secure a modern, fit-for-purpose and attractively designed building.

“Given the existing use of the site, the proposed development is considered compatible with its surroundings and nearby land uses, as is the case with the current established fire station facility.

“There is a clear justification and needs case for the proposed upgrading of the existing facilities. This would be of significant community benefit and have wide-ranging benefits for the staff who operate from the premises.”

Having reached the end of its operational life, the station was the subject of an assessment before Christmas which looked at the potential of refurbishing the building but it was not deemed a viable option and an all-new facility was recommended.

Its current 22-space car park will be slightly reduced to 20, although a ten-bike cycling shelter is included.

“Consideration was given to a number of scenarios, including an option to refurbish the existing building,” the planning statement said. “That was ruled out on the basis of reduced design life expectancy and due to prohibitive costs associated with structural investigations, repairs and enhancements in order to modify the building to current operational and efficiency requirements.

“The fire station provides a vital emergency service, and so it is imperative that the site runs as efficiently as possible, which the proposed development is seeking to achieve.

“Given the established nature of the site, and the intention not to significantly alter the location of buildings, it is considered that it’s located at a sufficient distance from nearby existing and future residential development to ensure there is no unacceptable impact on the amenity of associated occupiers.”

Tender documents were issued in August according to a recent report given to the South Yorkshire Fire Authority, which earmarked a return date of next month, while work could start as soon as spring next year.

Comments can be made on the council’s planning website until Wednesday.