People will have their chance to directly influence what happens to Brackley’s Old Fire Station.
Brackley Town Council bought the site, on High Street, from the National Trust in November last year. Now the council’s fire station sub-committee will send out a shortlist of ideas for uses for the building for every person in Brackley to comment on.
GSS Architecture had drawn up some initial drawings which comprised all elements originally mooted for the 127-year-old building. Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the fire station sub-committee, town clerk Linda Carter explained these were not to scale and were provided to ‘get people talking’.
Councillor Chris Blunden said: “I think the big thing we need to be very mindful of is that the precept needs to be put up to run it, if it is not generating a regular income or it could house a larger café type section which will pay the rent.
“The other thing I think we need to take into account is what is happening with the planned community building at Radstone Fields. We do not want to duplicate what is happening there.”
Mrs Carter reported most people who had responded to consultation on the initial drawings felt that some kind of provision for refreshments was needed although the town had enough cafes. The majority agreed public toilets would be beneficial.
Councillors discussed proposals there be a youth facility in the building. It was also suggested that an outside refreshments kiosk to service the park could be installed, leaving the interior of the building as a community meeting place.
A series of decorative panels designed by young people in the town will be put up at the fire station in the next week or so. Students at Magdalen College School have taken up the scheme initiated by NAYC (Northants Association of Youth Clubs) last year.
A consultation document asking people to rank their preference of a shortlist of ideas will be delivered to everyone in Brackley via the Town Talk magazine at the end of May. People will have until June 16 to submit their responses to the council. There will also be an information stand at Brackley community Carnival on June 14.