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Boris refuses to guarantee future of Lambeth Fire Station

The Mayor of London has refused to guarantee that Lambeth Fire Station will remain at its present site on Albert Embankment when the fire brigade's former headquarters building is sold to developers.

Boris refuses to guarantee future of Lambeth Fire Station

Boris Johnson was responding to a question from Lambeth and Southwark's Labour London Assembly member Val Shawcross who asked the mayor to confirm that Lambeth Fire Station would remain on its current site.

Lambeth Fire Station is the last remaining operational part of the fire brigade's 1930s headquarters complex on Albert Embankment.

The Mayor recently overruled the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) and ordered them to explore the sale of the hugely valuable riverside site through his panel of favoured developers.

Moves to sell the site began in 2005 and Mr Johnson blamed LFEPA for the "lamentable" slow progress.

However, the Mayor pointed declined to give any clear assurance about the future use of the site by local firefighters.

He said: "In terms of the fire station, I am open to considering all viable proposals for the use of 8 Albert Embankment, bearing in mind the requirement to demonstrate best consideration in any arrangement made."

Last year LFEPA ended its agreement with Native Land for the redevelopment site.

Under Native Land's proposals Lambeth Fire Station would have been retained on the ground floor of the listed building with new flats created on the upper floors.

"The fact that the Mayor has refused to confirm that the fire station at Albert Embankment will remain operational is extremely worrying," Val Shawcross told the SE1 website.

"The devastating fire cuts that saw 10 stations close across London, including nearby stations in Southwark and Westminster, and were predicated on the fact that this station would still be serving the area.

"With Parliament, MI6 and St Thomas' Hospital all nearby, and with the station providing a base for the only fire service boat in London, Boris must urgently rethink his position.

"We need to be secure in the knowledge that the station at Albert Embankment will be safeguarded as part of any redevelopment plan."

Earlier this year the fire authority said it was looking for alternative sites for Lambeth Fire Station but warned it was unlikely that any suitable land was available in the area.

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