Fire service urged to pause multi million pound facility after new offer from the police and crime commissioner

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has been urged to “pull the breaks” on its plans for a new multi-million pound headquarters.

An artist's impression of how the revamped fire service headquarters in Huntingdon could look.

An artist’s impression of how the revamped fire service headquarters in Huntingdon could look.

The message comes from police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire, Jason Ablewhite, after he requested that the organisation put on hold its planned development.

At a meeting of the fire authority’s policy and resources committee, on June 30, Mr Ablewhite “strongly advised” members to look at other options.

He said: “It is my view that not all the options have been looked at – look at the option that the police are putting on the table at the moment.

“There is use of police land next door for operational basis, joint usage of the training facility at Monkswood and room for a joint headquarters.

“I advise us to pull the breaks on collectively to look at some options that will benefit us all in the future.”

The fire service announced its plan to move its headquarters and Huntingdon fire station in December, with the new £7million development potentially built at St John’s Park in Huntingdon.

At the fire authority meeting, deputy chief executive officer Matthew Warren said: “The offer of a piece of land from the police and crime commissioner has to be considered, we have to look at the pros and cons as to what is on the table before we continue with our current project.”

Members of the committee were advised that the service is due to sign for the land at St John’s Park on July 30.

Concerns were raised by a number of members that work is already being carried out in preparation for the St John’s Park site.

County councillor for Godmanchester and Huntingdon East, Cllr Mike Shellens, said: “We do already have one proposal that has been in play for a very long time and that is well advanced.”

If the authority decides not to proceed with its current St John’s Park scheme it would be have to pay £403,000 for costs already associated with the plan.

Another meeting of the committee will be held on July 21 to decide whether the authority should take up the Mr Ablewhite’s offer or continue with its existing plan.