SOUTH Central Ambulance Service has been given notice to quit its current premises on the Mill Lane trading estate.

The home of Alton ambulance station for the past seven years, the former warehouse unit on Newman Lane provided a haven when its long-term site, next to the former Whitedown Special School in Albert Road, was sold for redevelopment in 2010.

Since then, according to staff, while “far from ideal” the unit has been home to up to five vehicles, including the rapid response car, with external parking for staff cars, and relatively easy access onto the A31 and B3304.

In 2015, Alton ambulance station was temporarily closed down when a fire in a neighbouring unit, involving hazardous chemicals, forced the relocation of South Central Ambulance Service vehicles to the fire station on Butts Road.

However, according to an ambulance driver, in his opinion the site was really too small to be considered as a permanent solution.

As a result, South Central Ambulance Service is now searching for a new premises with sufficient room to house its vehicles, with parking and easy access onto the main A and B roads out of Alton.

Paul Jefferies, assistant director of operations at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed: “The trust was informed by its landlord to vacate the current premises we use as our Alton ambulance station.”

“We have negotiated an approximate five-month notice period and this gives us sufficient time to identify suitable premises in Alton or the surrounding area to ensure we can continue to provide the same high quality, swift response to local people calling 999,” he added.