HS2 Impacts on FSHQ
HS2 Impacts on Fire Service Headquarters
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is concerned that the development of HS2, the planned high speed railway line, will have a substantial impact on the headquarters building if the proposed route is agreed.
HS2 have announced their intentions to compulsory purchase the car park and rear yard of the WMFS HQ in Nechells, Birmingham.
The impacts on WMFS will result in extremely limited vehicle access to essential Equipment Maintenance Services and the WMFS operational warehouse and distribution centre, and also the loss of over 150 staff car parking spaces with planned work taking place over a five year period.
WMFS are calling for HS2 to reconsider the partial compulsory purchase asking for a recommendation that the whole site is compulsory purchased allowing for WMFS to re-establish a new local purpose built Headquarters.
John Edwards, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority said ‘We’re not talking about just any business here, our building is the nerve-centre of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service and houses our vital control centre which mobilises fire appliances for the whole of the West Midlands and will soon mobilise for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as well.
‘HS2 has to recognise this and enable an orderly relocation for us given that their planned actions will render our HQ unfit for purpose.’
Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer, said ‘In no way should this have any affect to the services we provide to our communities. This is of great concern to us and we urge representatives of HS2 to reconsider and compulsory purchase the whole site.’
Representatives of both WMFS and HS2 plan to continue negotiations over the forthcoming months.