Basing Chobham’s firefighters in Woking while their station is rebuilt makes zero sense, says a parish councillor.

Emma Kennedy wants the fire service to accept an offer to keep the crew’s appliance in the village during the rebuild.

Cllr Kennedy campaigned to keep the Chobham station on call 24 hours a day before the county’s fire cover was reorganised four years ago.

Its part-time firefighters were reduced to turning out at nights on weekdays and all day at weekends but are now to have a new station in Bagshot Road.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service intends to base them at its station in Goldsworth Road, Woking, during the rebuild, for around a year from April.

The service turned down the offer of keeping the village fire engine at Chobham Adventure Farm in Bagshot Road – a move of just 100 metres.

“We have a perfect temporary location within the village and SFRS need to revisit their decision not to use it as a matter of urgency,” said Cllr Kennedy.

Woking Fire Station is three-and-a-half miles from Chobham, with speed limits all the way and four sets of traffic lights to be negotiated in Victoria Way. Cllr Kennedy contested a claim from a fire service spokesman that it takes just 11 minutes to drive to the town.

“Asking Chobham firefighters to navigate heavy traffic without blue lights to get to Woking in order to come back to fight a fire in Chobham is madness,” she added.

SFRS says the village crew will travel to Woking in their own vehicles, keeping to speed limits, when they are called out. 

It insists that it will still meet its target of getting a fire appliance to a critical incident in Chobham within ten minutes, and 16 minutes for other emergencies.

With the village crew based in Woking, the average response time for the first fire appliance to critical incidents is expected to be eight minutes seven seconds, an increase of 59 seconds against current average times.

“The nearest available resources will always respond to an emergency incident and this change does not have a detrimental impact on our response standard,” said a SFRS spokesman.

“The Chobham relocation follows a project carried out by the service and Surrey County Council to establish the most viable location with least impact to communities and staff.

“SCC does not have suitable properties within the area that could be repurposed as a fire station.”

Chobham Adventure Farm owner Bean Chapman offered free use of a barn, or another building on his land, to house the Chobham appliance during the rebuild but was told this was unsuitable.

“We were offered the use of some land and other suggestions were made for temporary arrangements for Chobham Fire Station,” said the spokesman. 

“Unfortunately, these premises and solutions do not meet the complex requirements needed.”

Chobham’s fire engine was housed in a temporary building on the Bagshot Road site while the current station was being built in 1976-77. 

A new building was needed because the original station, put up in 1938, was in danger of falling down because of subsidence.

The appliance was kept in a temporary scaffolding and corrugated-steel-sheeting shed while the communications equipment and crew’s fire kit were in a portable cabin.

Chobham and Lingfield on-call fire stations are being replaced as part of a £6.25million redevelopment project.