New ambulance station at Lostock Hall set to get the go-ahead as race is on to quit Preston Fire Station base.

A new ambulance base at Lostock Hall looks set to get the blue light as the 999 service races to quit its current site at Preston Fire Station by the end of September.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 1st July 2022, 12:30 pm

Councillors are expected to give their backing next week to a temporary pre-fab building on land previously occupied by Lunar Caravans.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) eventually plans to operate out of the new site off Sherdley Road on a full-time basis.

But with less than three months before they have to be out of the Blackpool Road depot they have shared with Lancashire Fire and Rescue for the past eight years, a modular building will be erected for the time being.

NWAS is planning a temporary base for its ambulances in Lostock Hall.

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Planning is already underway for a permanent station on the site to serve both Preston and South Ribble.

Council officers have recommended that Thursday's planning committee approves the "temporary" scheme for a three-year period while work goes on to prepare a bricks and mortar replacement.

In a report to the committee the offices says the new base is urgently needed with the September 30 deadline looming.

Ambulance crews have to be out of Preston Fire Station by the end of September.

"NWAS not only has a proven need for such a facility following the loss of its long time premises, but an industrial setting would seem more appropriate for such a use which would be badly-placed if located in a town centre or more residential location," says the report.

"Moreover there are obvious significant advantages to public health and the structure would support a vital public service depended on by all."

NWAS moved its ambulances into the first station in 2014 after their depot in Deepdale Road, next to the Preston Bus depot, was found to be dangerous due to subsidence.

The stay was only meant to be temporary and the lease agreement runs out at the end of September.

The disused land at Lostock Hall where NWAS plans to base its crews.

The Fire Service needs the space taken up by ambulances to house parts of its organisation which are moving into Blackpool Road under a reorganisation.

And it says NWAS agreed a sharing arrangement was not part of its plans in the long-term.

"Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has plans to develop the facilities on Blackpool Road and move some of our non-operational teams to the site,” said a fire brigade spokesman.

"To facilitate these improvements and cost efficiencies, the service needs the space that North West Ambulance Service currently utilises and as such the lease will not be renewed.”

The temporary building in Lostock Hall will accommodate 37 staff working on a shift basis. 25 of those would be operational, eight managerial, two admin and two senior paramedic team leaders.

The modular building will measure 36-metres long by 12-metres deep. The base would have parking room for 11 emergency passenger ambulances, four rapid response vehicles, seven operational vehicles and 48 other parking spaces.

The centre will operate around the clock, having access to and from the site from an automatic gate off Sherdley Road.

County Hall's highways team say the comings and goings of ambulances will not have an adverse effect on the local road network.

The site, where Lunar Caravans used to store their vehicles, has been empty for some time and is starting to deteriorate.