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Hereford Fire Station Planning Application

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Plenty to read concerning this planning application. Comments by Thursday 25 September 2014. The Council have used a London Planning concern called CGMS who judging by the characters working for them are pretty big guns. Note that as agents for the council they themselves paid the planning application of £10,000. Must be pretty sure they are going to get that back. I wouldn't be surprised if other companies consulted on other issues will also be putting in big bills for advice. 


The Working Boys Home closed in 1934 and was converted to council offices. This led to further changes Including extensive alteration of the interna! layout with rooms knocked together and others partitioned and a further extension to the north and west. Some early fixtures and fittings survived but most were removed and replaced in the 1930s. This change of use and associated alterations caused significant damage to the building's significance in heritage terms. 


The council both present and past have a poor history of conserving our heritage. I hope the Planning Committee, Civic Society as well as the Victorian Society are going to oppose this application. There is so much information to pick over in the numerous reports that the approach appears to be bamboozle the public. And of course our councillors are members of the public so H&WFR are expecting a push over. I won't be expecting any wise words from Tony Johnson at the Civic Society Question Time on the 18th September.

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I think you mean 'The Hereford & Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service have used a …' (not the Council!).


It seems a lost opportunity not to have had CGMS do the design, rather than just write the report justifying the rubbish designed by a 'real estate agent'. 


For those confused by the Site Plan - as it has no context - Bath Street is on the left of the drawing (not at the bottom where good draughting practice would have it). Is it so hard to type the street names?

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In The Guardian today:


Home secretary also talks of urgent need to combat new trends in crime, such as remote car theft and smartphone theft
The need for further spending cuts will necessitate the future integration of the police, fire and ambulance emergency services and the widespread use of body-worn cameras and smartphone apps by officers to save time, the home secretary, Theresa May, has forecast.
In view of the above statement to move the fire station to Bath Street may be a little premature?
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So it's in!

I'd like to ask a question on the the planning application number 24 hazardous waste is any hazardous waste involved in the proposal.


would this include any that was in the demolition work?


No, it wouldn't. That would be covered under separate H & S legislation. The Council would ordinarily condition a requirement for a demolition method statement on the permission, assuming it was approved.

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has anyone read through CgMs heritage report?where they try & justify demolishing the old boys home?! I have read through it & to be honest I'm not impressed but then again you wouldn't pay someone a load of money then expect then to write unfavourable report to get it through the planning?!

I also think they've been fairly economical with the truth particularly concerning the public consultation day?! Plus they have tried to play down the importance of local history in fact they've not mention the venerable rev john venn or his connection with the old boys home or his connection to other building which run down bath street!!

As far as the materials they want to use to build said new fire station in, well,they don't match anything in the area apart from the bricks. the appearance of the place is hideous, there is so much powder coated metal tin sheets which they are planning on using?! it's the type of thing you'd expect to find on a industrial estate & not in a conservation area?! The roof doesn't match anything in the area it's a half round, powder coat metal tin sheet roof with solar panels?? Also the sills & window linings are powder coated metal tin sheets too. in all very cheap & tacky looking in my opinion not to mention it's going to look well out of place!!!

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Time to start reading the documents and raise questions, comments and concerns:


11. Vehicle Parking 
Cars existing 21 Proposed 34 (12 visitors) 29% increase
No motorcycles/cycling spaces None indicated on form although area shown on plan
12 Foul Sewage
Are you proposing to connect to the existing drainage system? Unknown
14. Biodiversity and Geological Conservation 
Having referred to the guidance notes, is there a reason able likelihood of the following being affected adversely or conserved and enhanced within the application site, OR on land adjacent to or near the application site: 
a) Protected and priority species. Yes, on the development site
16. Trees and Hedges 
Are there trees or hedges on the proposed development site? Yes
Are there trees or hedges on land adjacent to the proposed development site that could influence the development or might be important as part of the local landscape character? Yes
If Yes to either or both of the above, you may need to provide a full Tree Survey, at the discretion of your local planning authority. If a Tree Survey is required, this and the accompanying plan should be submitted alongside your application. Your local planning authority should make clear on its website what the survey should contain, in accordance with the current BS5837: Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - Recommendations 
(Loss of trees on site: 
4.8 Mature trees on site would be lost as part of the development proposal. 
4.9 Whilst a number of significant trees will be removed as part of the development, this loss is essential for highways safety and the operational requirements of the fire station. For instance one group of trees will be removed for sight-line purposes for fire tenders existing the proposed station. However, mitigation measures will be put in place in order to protect the remaining trees on site over the course of the construction period. 
4.10 It is proposed to maintain as many of the existing trees on the site as possible. Grass and low planting are proposed to the front and Southern border in order to soften the landscape while still providing a clear line of sight around the perimeter.)
Trade Effluent
Does the proposal involve the need to dispose of trade effluents or waste? No
20. Employment
If known, please complete the following information regarding employees: 
Existing employees 0 Full time
Proposed employees 81Full time
Any increase or just existing personnel tranferred?
22. Site area 0.53 hectares
What size is the existing site?
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1.3 As part of the pre-application process, the Applicant held an exhibition to engage local residents and key stakeholders on the emerging proposals. This document provides an overview of the consultation, engagement and communications undertaken by Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority.

(A limted consultation - no background information)


1.5 An application was made by members of the local community to English Heritage to list the former Working Boys' Home. English Heritage's assessment concluded that the building was not of sufficient architectural quality to merit listed status and in February 2014 decided not to list the site.

(No other investigations/evidence as to how the buildings could be used - no need to demolish just because they are not listed)


1.8 A detailed description of the proposal Is provided In the accompanying Planning Statement and Design and Access Statement. In summary. The Applicant proposes a land swap with Herefordshire Council whereby the Applicant would redevelopment the Council's offices at Bath Street for use as a fire station and the Council would in turn use the existing fire station site, located on St Owen Street, for an alternative use. 


(What are the alternative uses?)


(Prejudicial interest Section 12 - The Planning Code This code covers the conduct of both Councillors and Officers. It relates to the whole of the planning process, including policy formulation and development control, and all Councillors and Officers who come into contact with it. When declaring an interest, you must specify the nature of the interest, and whether it is personal or prejudicial. The minutes of the meeting must record what type of declaration was made. 


a) A personal interest exists where a decision on the matter at hand could reasonably be regarded as affecting your well being or financial position or that of a relevant person (you, your employer, family or close friends) to a greater extent than other people in the area affected by the decision. If it does you must say you have a personal interest but can stay and take part and vote in the meeting. 


b) A prejudicial interest exists where:- 

i.) a member of the public (who has knowledge of the relevant facts) would reasonably regard your personal interest as being so significant that it is likely to prejudice your judgement of the public interest and 

ii.) the decision affects your financial position or that of a relevant person, 


iii.) the decision relates to an approval, consent, licence, permission or registration in relation to you or a relevant person 


The code is designed to promote greater mutual support and understanding between Councillors and Officers to the benefit of all involved in the planning process. It is also designed to give the public greater confidence that Herefordshire Council discharges its planning responsibilities fairly and openly.)


1.9 The proposal Is driven by the need for a new fire station in Hereford as the existing station is in poor condition and fails to comply with a number of current legislative requirements. The unconventional layout results in a congested and inefficient use of space. 

(What are these current legislative requirements?)


1.10 A survey has been undertaken on the current station to ascertain whether it is viable to refurbish the existing station or to build a new station on the site. Both options have proved that the costs involved would be prohibitive to undertake either of these options and that it is more economical to secure a new site and build a purpose built and modern facility.

(What are the figures?)


1.11 In addition, the existing site is unsuited to the development of a new modern fire station as there is insufficient space on site for training facilities, which are considered to be essential to the operation of the station. Therefore a larger site is needed for the new station.

(And maybe a larger site than this. "The need for further spending cuts will necessitate the future integration of the police, fire and ambulance emergency services and the widespread use of body-worn cameras and smartphone apps by officers to save time, the home secretary, Theresa May, has forecast". If this is the case this site will not be suitable and may involve the fire station moving again.


1.12 The proposed development would incorporate a fire station together with associated administrative accommodation and a training facility. An extensive technical assessment of available sites in Hereford has been undertaken and the proposed site has been found to be the most suitable for the provision of fire service facilities that will benefit the City. 

(Do not agree.)


End of Introduction - Will add further comments to this and other documents.


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Maybe a email to Theresa may to informer her of the situation & that the fire service are about to waste millions on a new station for themselves when they should be looking to combine services & site with the other emergency services especially as the police need a new home to!

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The Planning Notice has been published dated 4th September 2014. This is an application for full planning permission and affects a Conservation Area. Is this application in accordance with the provisions of the Development plan?


P - Planning permission 
AC - Conservation Area Consent 
AC - Affecting a Conservation Area 
D - Not in accordance with the provisions of the Development Plan 
RW - Affecting a public right of way 
T - For a telecommunications mast 
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Time to contact the Planning Committee and find out where they stand on this application.


I believe these councillors to be Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority Members


Jim Kenyon, Bob Matthews, Peter Jones, David Taylor, Dereck Prodger, Peter Sinclair-Kipe, Kema Guthrie - although the H&WFR website says there are only 6 members from Herefordshire Council.


Bob Matthews and Kema Guthrie are on the Herefordshire Council Planning Committee.


Mark Hubbard is the Central Ward Councillor.

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Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority

Policy and Resources Committee

10 September 2014


see page 18 of June 2nd minutes.


13. Capital expenditure remains lower than expected in the budget for two main reasons:


a) The vehicle replacement programme continues to be on hold until the outcome of the CRMP is known.


b) Work was delayed on capital projects within the major building section for the following reasons: 

• Worcester – contractual issues surrounding the building specification.

• Hereford – requirement for additional works at the planning stage due to sensitivity of selected site being within conservation area.



Not sure what this means? This is all the information concerning the fire station relocation in the minutes.
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I feel that the objection to the relocation of the existing fire station to Bath Street can only be challenged on two points. The first and most obvious is the proposed location in a Conservation Area. Secondly the involvement of Herefordshire Council officers and councillors in developing this application in conjunction with the Hereford & Worcester Fire Service where Herefordshire Council are the authority who determine the submitted plan.
The consultation carried out and reports submitted by H&WFR in this application are mere expensive padding and would apply to any location the service wanted to relocate to. They are a diversion to distract the public and planning councillors in accepting the Bath Road site, because it suits a deal that has been done behind closed doors. 
Prince Charles who has his own views on the impact of architecture on society made the following comments in a speech he made on 31st January 2008 regarding New Buildings in Old Places:

* Firstly, recognition that sustainability actually means building for the long-term – one hundred years, rather than twenty years;
* Secondly, because of this, it is worth building in an adaptable and flexible manner, reassessing and re-using existing buildings wherever possible;
* Thirdly, it is worth building in a manner that fits the place, in terms of materials used, proportion and layouts and climate, ecology and building practices;
* Fourthly, it is worth building beautifully, in a manner that builds upon tradition, evolving it in response to present challenges and utilising present day resources and techniques;
* And, finally, it is worth understanding the purpose of a building, or group of buildings, within the hierarchy of the buildings around it and responding with an appropriate building type and design. Doing this often implies the composition of a harmonious whole, rather than the erection of singular objects of architectural or corporate will which merely panders to ego-centric imperatives.


The present plan to locate the fire station to Bath Street fails on all the above accounts. Maybe if the Planning Committee took this advice when considering the relocation of the fire station the outcome for the citizens of Hereford would be more worthy.
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