MARSDEN fire station is set to close - and move virtually next door.

Plans have been unveiled for the retained firefighters to move from their small, ageing station into the aptly-named Emergency House almost next door on Manchester Road.

And it can be revealed that Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team is due to join the firefighters in their new home.

West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service has put in a planning application to turn Emergency House into a community fire station.

Kirklees Council officials are expected to make a decision in a few weeks.

If all goes to plan the firefighters and mountain rescue team will be in their new base this summer.

Emergency House is owned by a company which loans out old vehicles - some of them fire engines - to film and TV companies.

Once the fire service buys the building the company will look to rent a new base in the Huddersfield area.

Emergency House now has six vehicle bays.

Part of it is expected to be turned into a community meeting room for talks and events about fire prevention and safety.

The service's property manager, Robert Davison, said: "The current Marsden fire station is just too small for the appliance. It has to be reversed back into the bay across Manchester Road, which is not ideal.

"The building is old and does not meet the needs of a modern community fire station."

The fire station was built in 1909. The building will eventually be sold.

Mr Davison added: "Sharing the new building with the mountain rescue team will provide a better use for it.

"If all goes to plan we will move into the new building this summer."

Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team changed its name from moorland rescue a couple of years ago.

The team is a member of the Mountain Rescue Council and has a Land Rover and a van.

Team leader Peter Phillips, who is station commander at Cleckheaton fire station and co-ordinates technical rescues, such as rope and water rescues for the service, said: "We have a base at Meltham Hall, provided by Meltham Town Council, but ideally they want to redevelop this building.

"So we have been looking for a new base for a while.

"We would prefer to stay in Meltham, which is central to the Colne and Holme valleys.

"In the long run, we would like our own purpose-built headquarters there, which we have planned to build with Meltham Tractor Club.

"This could ultimately incorporate a tractor museum.

"But we are up against private developers to get land - and land prices are so very high.

"The chance to move to Marsden for a few years will give us the time we need," added Mr Phillips.