A MAJOR shake-up of fire emergency cover in Camborne, Redruth and Hayle has been delayed.
The plans to build a 24-hour 'super-station' at Tolvaddon and a retained centre in Hayle have "slipped" behind schedule.
The two facilities are now expected to be operational by the end of March 2014, despite hopes to open in October 2013.
This, according to deputy chief fire officer Paul Walker, is down to the forthcoming elections, which means detailed plans will not go before the council's planning committee until June next year.
Talking about the £8.2 million project, Mr Walker said: "There has been some slippage with the anticipated dates.
"We now hope the stations will be completed by the first quarter of 2014 and the service headquarters later that year.
"Our initial projections of October 2013 were indicative based on initial site surveys rather than detailed ground, geometric and environmental site surveys required at build feasibility phase."
Mr Walker also confirmed the service has overcome the majority of issues and established a clear way forward to the design phase of the project, which was commissioned last month.
Councillor Lance Kennedy, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for community safety and public protection, said it was not unusual for some "slippage to occur in a project of this size and complexity".
He added: "We were unable to undertake the necessary surveys until we had gained approval for the project from the council's Cabinet and, as anyone who has bought a house will be aware, these things can take time.
"However, there is nothing we have encountered so far that puts the project in jeopardy."
Councillor Mark Kaczmarek, Cornwall councillor for St Day and Lanner, said the delay would not impact fire cover, with Camborne and Redruth stations remaining operational.
Meanwhile, Lisa Dolley, Cornwall councillor for Redruth North, who led the campaign against the closure of Redruth's fire station, said any delay could jeopardise the scheme. She added: "I believe the longer the delay the less likely it is that it will go ahead in these times of financial austerity."
Cornwall Council's Cabinet backed the relocation plans in July.
The move enables the service to reach an additional 13,900 people within the ten-minute response time.
The Tolvaddon station will include fire control, engineering workshops, training and CCTV.