PLANNING chiefs in Stafford have greenlit plans for a new community fire station in Penkridge.
The rebuild to the current facilities on Boscomoor Lane will include a community room seating up to 20 people, a gym for use by staff and supervised community groups and a training area for firefighters.
Station manager Ian Dawson said: “The existing station, built in1972, is looking very tired now and is proving costly to maintain.
“It was also built when we were purely a reactive service just dealing with incidents and so it wasn’t designed for the pro-active service we are today, dealing with the community.”
The new station is party of a £50m private finance initiative (PFI) project which is set to see the rebuild of 11 fire station across the county with contractor Blue3 responsible for the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of the new building.
Construction is expected to start in Spring 2013 with all stations scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.
Mr Dawson said: “The firefighters have been actively involved in the design of the new station and are looking forward to having new community and training facilities.”
Norma Putman, who has managed the PFI project said she was delighted to see planning permission granted for the new station and was looking forward to giving Penkridge residents and those of the surrounding areas a community fire station to be proud of.
“Our first PFI project, which saw the build of three new stations and the rebuild of a further seven, is now complete,” she said. “The project has been a huge success and the community facilities attracted over 2000 bookings last year alone, we hope this project will be equally as successful.”