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The story begins in 2002, when the fire and rescue service was moved from the control of the Home Office to the Department of the Deputy Prime Minister, Environment and the Regions, the brief overseen by John Prescott.

Situated on an industrial estate in Castle Donington, it was meant to be the new fire control centre for the East Midlands part of a Government plan to replace 46 local fire and rescue control rooms across the country with nine new regional centres.

So far, in October 2011, about 460 million had been spent on this plan. The scheme was pulled this year. What is not so widely known is how much these buildings are still draining the public purse.

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13m fire service building costing taxpayers

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Because what we do know is every bit as strange, every bit as unlikely, as some of the conspiracy theories currently raising eyebrows with people nearby.

It would be easier and cheaper, claimed Prescott, outlining a plan to build nine regional fire control centres across the UK.

But before we go there, let begin with the borders. The border runs along the front of the building, and inside not one, but two, perimeter Mens Nike Uptempo Black

It was going to cost, initially, 120 million. It was expensive, but that money would be re couped inside five years. That was the argument. It appeared initially attractive. It fell apart, however, like a badly built house of cards.

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Politicians talk grandly of public/private partnerships as a handy way of providing public facilities with Nike Air Max Uptempo Black Pink private finance. But this comes at a price and it usually a hefty one.

It has never been properly used. Apart from some minor office activity, it has stood empty embarrassingly, expensively empty ever since.

couldn believe it when we first saw him, says Anne. gardener to tend the gardens of an empty building that has never been used. It not just the man who tends to the hardy perennials around the unused fire control centre. A few weeks ago, there were a small team of workmen doing something, no one knows what, on the roof of the empty building.

Beneath the building, there are living quarters for all the great and good of the East Midlands, they say, and with enough provisions to last three months.

The cleaners that still come to clean the place there are fewer of them, but they still come have signed the Official Secrets Act, the rumour mongers on the industrial estate say.

The huge two storey fire control centre Nike Air More Uptempo Black White For Sale

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Last month, a House of Commons select committee described the expensive fiasco as one of the "worst cases of project failure" that it had seen in many years.

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If you want to know the full story of the 13 million Regional Control Centre in Nike Air More Uptempo For Sale Cheap

Inside are phones that have never rung, seats that have never been sat on and one of the biggest TV screens in Europe that has never worked.

There a reason why the borders look so neat. Every week in the summer not quite so often in the autumn and winter a gardener arrives in his van and tends to them.

However, the project fell into disarray, with costs rising from an initial estimated price tag of million to about million before it was eventually abandoned last December.

Empty 13m fire HQ is costing taxpayer 5,000 a day

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His idea was simple, if immediately unpopular. Prescott wanted a new tier of regional government across the UK.

is situated at the edge of the Willow Farm Industrial Estate, in Castle Donington. It was built in 2007 and was supposed to be the operational nerve centre for Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire fire and rescue brigades.

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Anne works in one of the offices nearby. The empty fire centre is a common source of incredulity in the area.

They were funded by a specific kind of private finance initiative, called a Private Developer Scheme. This is where privately owned companies develop public sector buildings.

Castle Donington the folly, the grand waste, the political mismanagement of a plan that seemed almost doomed to expensive failure from its controversial inception then let begin with the building garden, the neatly tended border which runs round the perimeter of this unused white elephant.

The building, which is fully furnished and equipped with the latest technology, even has its own cleaners, a gardener who tends its grounds and security staff who patrol it 24 hours a day and all at taxpayers' expense.

The costs soon spiraled from 120 million in 2004, to 260 million in 2006, to 380 million in 2008.

The Castle Donington centre was constructed by local builders Wilson Bowden. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the centre, says Fire Brigades Union spokesman Duncan Milligan. It was built to a decent standard, on budget and on time.

There is so much unexplained activity here, and so little in the way of explanation, says Anne, that all kinds of conspiracy theories have begun to flourish in the news vacuum.

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fences. They neat and attractive and surprisingly well looked after. Which is odd, really, when you think that the only people who occupy this building are the security men who patrol it 24 hours a day.

Every week or so, a refuse lorry swings into the gated entrance. Why? Why is there rubbish to collect if no one is using the building? No one knows.

It all seems laughably unlikely, and yet, with the ludicrous story of Regional Control Centre, it would be naive to rule it out.

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