Town’s blue light services hub scrutinised by council

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Detailed plans of Wigan’s combined emergency services hub have been submitted to the town hall with completion set for 2017.

Earlier this year residents were given a chance to view draft proposals and give feedback.

The final plan was submitted to council planning officers this week with a target date for a decision scheduled for June.

The hub, which will see both and ambulance and fire crews stationed at the same facility, will replace the current fire station site on Robin Park Road.

Emergency services bosses hope the £3.9m facility will help both 999 teams streamline their operations.

The site will incorporate a fire training yard with training tower in addition to a community rooms and equipment, including a gym.

A statement from Coun David Action, chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, contained within the design report reveals firm Willmott Dixon has been appointed for the build.

It reads: “We are pleased to be working side by side with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) again, this project will allow us to further improve our relationship as well as making financial savings.”

NWAS director of operations Derek Cartwright said: “This is an extremely exciting and positive venture for our two organisations. NWAS already very successfully shares premises with both fire and police colleagues throughout the region but the design concepts for his particular site herald a new model of working for the Trust.”

The site will have a new community entrance from France Street with a staff access and emergency response exit remaining on Robin Park Road, the planning documents reveal.

A completion date for the plans has been scheduled for the summer next year.

A statement for a spokesperson for Willmott Dixon reads: “We are delighted to be working with GMFRS and NWAS to deliver the new combined community fire and ambulance station, we are working closely with them to make sure the proposals include all the facilities required.”

The design documents reveal that feedback received during a consultation period had been taken on board.

One featured response from resident Katy Boyd reads:”We live directly next and are really pleased that you are remaining on the same site. The planning and design look fab(ulous) and I think the idea of a community station is much needed.”

As part of the planning process, residents will get a further opportunity to voice their opinions on the plans as consultation documents were sent to those living close to the site on April 12.

If there is no substantial opposition to the designs, officers could give the green light in June otherwise the decision could go before the planning committee.