Seven new fire stations for Christchurch

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 10:37 28/11/2013
New fire stations for Christchurch

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Seven new fire stations will be built in Christchurch within the next 10 years in an ambitious $50 million project announced today.

Three stations - central, Addington and Woolston - will be demolished and rebuilt on their current sites.

New sites will be found for four stations in the city's southwest, north, east and in the suburbs around Ilam.

The Fire Service is not revealing the preferred new sites while negotiations for land purchases or site-sharing with ''partner agencies'' are underway.

Prime Minister John Key attended the Fire Service announcement at the central city fire station.

As part of the changes, the St Albans and Harewood station sites will be sold either as vacant plots or with the current stations still on them.

Senior regional Fire Service managers will move into the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

Timelines will be put in place for each new station, but all are expected to be completed within 10 years. 

A separate proposal to create a new Urban Search and Rescue training base in Christchurch is currently under review. 

Fire Service National Commander Paul Baxter said the earthquakes had provided a ''unique'' opportunity to relocate fire stations to match population change and new roading.

There was also the potential for resource sharing with other emergency response agencies. 

A number of Christchurch fire stations were damaged in the earthquakes. Crews have been operating out of portacoms at central and Woolston.

No fire fighters would lose their jobs and there would be no reduction in the number of fire engines servicing the city, Baxter said.

He said the plan was created using complex computer modelling, consultation and took expected future development into account.

Green technologies and noise mitigation would be incorporated into the new fire station designs. They also must meet strict building code requirements so they can be operational after a major disaster.

Changes for volunteer fire stations are also on the cards. 

The Brooklands volunteer crew will soon move to a newly built station in Spencerville. 

A new fire station will be built on a new site in Lyttelton. The old station in the port town has already been demolished.

The New Brighton station will be unaffected by the plan, with volunteer crews remaining there for at least the next five years. That station needs to be remediated within the next 15 years in order to stay operational. 

Plans to redevelop the Rolleston and Rangiora fire stations will happen later, as will a decision on relocating the Kaiapoi station.

The Press has been told the number of calls to the eastern suburbs had not dropped since the earthquakes.

WHAT IS HAPPENING:

- Central Fire Station, on Kilmore St, will be demolished and a new station built on the current site.

- Woolston Fire Station, on Ferry Rd, will be demolished and a new station built on the current site.

- Addington Fire Station, on Simeon St, is likely to be demolished and a new station built on the current site. The alternative option is to build a new station further southwest.

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- St Albans Fire Station site, on Cranford St, will be sold and new station built on a new site further north.

- Harewood Fire Station site, on Wairakei Road, will be sold and a new station built in the area around Ilam.

- A new Sockburn Fire Station will be built in the south-west of the city. The crew is currently based at a rented station at Wigram Air Base. The old fire station site on Blenheim Rd was sold before the earthquakes.

- A new station will be built in the city's east. A volunteer crew will continue working from the New Brighton Fire Station, on Hawke St, for at least the next five years. A paid fire fighting crew is also currently based there. 

- The Press

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