STAFFORDSHIRE: Fire station revamp set to include land sell-off
Surplus land at Stafford Fire Station is set to be sold off as part of a planned revamp of the site.
Facilities at the Beaconside station will be “consolidated” into an existing office block and an extension added to create a new appliance bay if plans put forward by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are approved by Stafford Borough Council.
The current fire station was built in the 1990s and the building fabric is now in a poor condition, a design and access statement submitted as part of the application said, with existing plant and services approaching the end of their useful life.
The proposed redevelopment would provide space for the main appliance vehicle and support vehicles, accommodation for crews during the day and overnight and facilities for training and back office tasks.
The building set to be re-purposed for these facilities was previously used by the Civil Contingency Unit. It is now used by an occupational health team, which would be re-located to nearby facilities.
The statement added that the redevelopment would provide a sustainable means of driving down the cost of fire and rescue services in Stafford without affecting the level of coverage.
In recent years several fire stations across Staffordshire have been rebuilt as part of private finance initiative (PFI) schemes, including facilities at Stone.
In 2018 the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s office took on governance of the county’s fire and rescue services. The move was hailed as a way to improve collaboration between the two services and save money.
A number of former police station sites have been sold off in areas including Stone and Eccleshall. And Staffordshire Police’s northern response team is now sharing a site with the fire service in Hanley.
A spokesperson for the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office said: “The planning application for Stafford fire station forms part of our on-going strategy to keep communities safe, while ensuring best value for money for the public purse.
“The aim is to provide an improved working environment in a building that is the right size to respond rapidly and efficiently to current and forecast demand.
“It will reduce annual running costs and generate money from the sale of a substantial parcel of land. This will not impact the crewing of the station or ability to respond to emergencies.”
Staffordshire’s new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Ben Adams, who was elected to the post last month, added: “We will continually review the police and fire and rescue estate with a view to ensuring both services have well-located and cost-effective buildings that help them deliver the best possible service to people across Staffordshire.
“In some cases, welcome additional capital will be released to invest in the workforce or the tools they need to keep us safe.”
Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter
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