Plans to extend Rushden fire station so police officers can be based there put on hold

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Plans to refurbish and extend Rushden fire station so police officers can also be based there have been put on hold.

The proposals were revealed earlier this year as part of the ongoing collaboration and integration between Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The plans for the extension at Rushden fire station have been paused

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Frost

Plans were submitted to East Northamptonshire Council to extend the fire station in Washbrook Road, Rushden, to provide additional office accommodation so police officers currently based at Rushden police station could move to the fire station and share facilities.

If approved, it was hoped that work would start on site by the end of this month and completed by March next year, with both community and response officers from Northamptonshire Police then based at the fire station.

However, despite securing planning permission from the council in recent weeks, the Northants Telegraph has been told that the plans have been put on hold for now.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Frost said: “While the co-location of police officers currently based at Rushden police station with their fire service colleagues is still planned, the plans for the extension at Rushden fire station have been paused pending a further review of future requirements.

“Building works to accommodate local community and response policing teams at Mereway fire station in Northampton are continuing as planned.”

Documents submitted as part of the original planning application stated: “Relocating response operations from the existing police station in Rushden to the fire station allows the police to dispose of the existing police station as part of their larger estate rationalisation strategy.

“All of which is driven to provide a better standard of service and value to the tax-payer.”

The latest development on the Rushden scheme comes as Northamptonshire Police revealed this week that nearly 300 police officers and PCSOs now have access to their local fire station.

Local community and response officers can make use of facilities at the county’s retained fire stations at any time of the day or night.

Officers can go to their local fire station rather than return to their main base, meaning they can stay within their beat area for longer.

The ultimate aim is to provide office and computer facilities for police officers so they can also complete essential paperwork while remaining in the local community.

Work is currently underway to co-locate police and fire officers at Mereway fire station in Northampton.

Building and refurbishment work is about to begin at the station, where a joint base for firefighters and community and response police officers will be established.