PLANS by fire chiefs to build a new station in Shipley will now be examined by Government to ensure it saves the taxpayer money.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has said he was "very concerned" that the scheme to close fire stations at Saltaire Road, Shipley, and Highfield Road, Idle, and replace them with a new one in Valley Road could cost between £50,000 and £100,000.

Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies told Parliament the two sites, which are to be used for housing by social housing group Incommunities, were more valuable than the land the new station is going to be built on.

In response, Mr Clark said: "Decisions on the cost of reorganising fire stations are a matter for local fire and rescue authorities.

"Needless to say I would expect any such reorganisations to save public money rather than cost more.

"I am very concerned about what he says. I will ask the chief fire and rescue advisor, who has the powers of an inspector, to meet him to understand his concerns and advise me on next steps."

Speaking in Communities and Local Government questions in the Commons Mr Davies added: “There is lots of concern, not least from firefighters, at a time of budgetary pressures that they (the fire authority) are tossing away tens of thousands of pounds."

Mr Davies urged Government to intervene to ensure the "taxpayer gets good value for money, or at least make sure we know what the valuations of these lands are so we can see for ourselves what the impact is for local taxpayers".

But Councillor Judith Hughes, chairman of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said it was estimated that replacing the two fire stations with one would, in fact, save taxpayers about £885,000 a year.

"I repeat my previous comment and state that Mr Davies has acted prematurely and is not in possession of all the relevant facts," she said.

"The merger of Shipley and Idle fire stations was approved by the authority in December 2012.

"Rather than costing the taxpayer money, the new fire station at Valley Road will, in fact, save the taxpayer £885,000 every year from the day it opens as well as providing an excellent new facility to serve the community for many years to come.

"The land exchange deal, that is still under negotiation, does not result in any loss to the authority or the taxpayer because the latest valuations have shown them to be broadly equal, with the plot of land at Valley Road now significantly larger than was first offered.

"We are satisfied that our position on not disclosing the actual valuations until negotiations are concluded is entirely appropriate because it is commercially sensitive information.

Cllr Hughes added: "The Government was entirely satisfied with the business case for the new fire station when it approved a large grant to support the changes being proposed, due to the efficiencies they would generate for the taxpayer."

Mr Davies, however, said it was due to his pressure that the deal with Incommunities was being renegotiated to include more land at Valley Road to offer a better return for taxpayers.