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Sale of Norwich fire station could net county council £650k

Bethel Street fire station.

Bethel Street fire station.

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The sale of the city centre fire station which served Norwich for more than 80 years will net council bosses at least £650,000, it has emerged.

Bethel Street fire station, which was built in the 1930s, was closed in the summer to make way for a state-of-the-art replacement in Trowse, close to Norfolk County Council’s headquarters.

At a meeting of the county council’s controlling cabinet yesterday, councillors agreed to put the property on the market.

Councillors agreed to delegate authority to chief executive David White to accept the best offer for the building, following consultation with Janet Murphy, cabinet member for efficiency.

And the meeting heard that council officers expect to receive a capital receipt of at least £650,000 for the building when it is sold.

Planning permission to convert the fire station into a mixture of residential, retail and office use were approved in August last year.

About a dozen tenants had been due to move into the property as “property guardians” to prevent squatters from moving in while it stood empty.

But, as reported in the Evening News, they were initially prevented from moving in after an inspection by Norfolk Fire and Rescue service found it had failed to meet fire safety regulations.

The planning permission, which includes proposals for 14 flats, was agreed by the city council after an application was lodged by NPS Property Services – one of the county council’s arm-length companies.

Permission was granted to convert the Grade II listed building into five three bedroom maisonettes, five three bedroom flats, one three bedroom house, one two bedroom flat and a pair of one bedroom flats.

The county council cabinet agreed to market the building for sale, with it deemed “in the council’s best interests to seek to dispose of the property as soon as possible”.

The new Carrow fire station, the replacement for Bethel Street, was opened in August at the site of the former Pineapple pub in Trowse.

The £4.5m fire station is one of three serving the city, with others in Sprowston and North Earlham.

A key part of the new building is to lower maintenance costs, and the 13,500sqm building features high levels of insulation, low e-glazing and lighting systems, solar thermal heating, solar panels on the roof and air-source heat pumps.

Do you have fond memories of Bethel Street fire station? Tell us about them by writing to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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