HEREFORDSHIRE Council is ready to put off a decision on offering its Bath Street offices as the site for a new Hereford Fire Station.
The Hereford Times has learned that decision due at cabinet member level next week is now expected to be taken next month at the earliest.
Confirmation of that deferral is expected out of Brockington later this week.
But the council has said that it would be looking to sell the site on the open market if the fire station proposal falls through.
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) today re-affirmed its commitment to the deal saying a new station is a necessity with the Bath Street offices being an “excellent geographical location”.
The council facing a vociferous - and growing – opposition to its plan for the site.
Heritage campaigners, in particular, make a preservation case for the offices as city’s former working boys home, despite English Heritage turning down a listing application.
Other concerns question the need for a new fire station and the suitability of Bath Street for that station.
HWFRS has already approved a proposal to replace the present station which it says is in “very poor condition” and no longer fit for purpose as a huge maintenance liability that needs more than £1m to bring up to a reasonable standard.
The service case is that it is not economical to repair and upgrade the current building and site and a new purpose built, modern facility will be more energy efficient, providing better value for the taxpayer in the long term.
Bath Street met a need for a new station to be on a “large site in a key location in Hereford city” HWFRS said.
The service says a number of sites have been examined and rejected as unacceptable for a variety of reasons.
Bath Street, however, suited the services needs in terms of space available and is an “excellent geographical location” for emergency response.