gatwicktrainWest Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has expressed its dismay at a proposal by High Speed Two (HS2) to purchase the car park and rear yard of their headquarters in Nechells, Birmingham.

WMFS is asking HS2 to reconsider their planned route as it means they will have extremely limited vehicle access to essential Equipment Maintenance Services and their operational warehouse and distribution centre.

John Edwards, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority said: "Our building is the nerve-centre of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service. It 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 that their planned actions will render our HQ unfit for purpose."

The controversial project, chaired by Sir David Higgins who oversaw the 2012 Olympics, is aiming to bring the UK's railway infrastructure dramatically in to the 21s Century with shovels to hit the ground in 2017. 

Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach added: "This is of great concern to us and we urge representatives of HS2 to reconsider the partial purchase and buy the whole site instead."

If the action that WMFS is calling for is accepted then they can re-establish a new local purpose built Headquarters. The developers of HS2 say they are planning to "create space on crowded lines and bring the whole country together" by establishing a new operational rail line between Birmingham and London by 2026.

Negotiations will continue over the forthcoming months between the representatives of both WMFS and HS2.