A NEW joint police and fire station could be built in Redditch if plans are given the green light.

A planning application has been submitted to Redditch Borough Council to build a combined emergency services hub on Middle House Lane, which would be shared by West Mercia Police and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

The application, lodged by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and Hereford & Worcester Fire Service, is for the demolition of the existing training tower at the current Redditch fire station and the creation of a three-storey hub building and a new training tower.

The planned site covers part of the existing Redditch fire station facility and car park, along with neighbouring vacant land which was home to the former Millfields Social Education Centre.

Planning documents state the ground floor of the building would house facilities for police personnel including four interview rooms and a reception area, alongside three appliance bays for the fire service and a station communications office.

Plans for the first floor include space for the forces’ Safer Neighbourhood Team including Winyates & Matchborough and Batchley and Central SNTs; space for the Criminal Investigation Department; rooms for the Sergeant and Inspector and individual sleeping quarters for fire service personnel.

The second floor would include space for police teams and a pole drop for fire service teams to quickly access the ground floor, the planning statement says.

The application also includes the creation of a new training tower and a road traffic collision training area for fire service personnel.

The new hub is needed as the existing fire and police stations in Redditch “have reached the end of their serviceable life and are no longer fit for purpose” the planning statement reads.

It adds: “The disjointed layout of the existing police station in Redditch town centre, being of 1960s construction, no longer provides suitable accommodation for the functions and services that are required. This is an issue that cannot be remedied by seeking to improve the fabric or configuration of the existing building.”

If the plan is passed, the existing fire and police stations would remain open until the combined hub facility is completed and its development would open up the existing police station as a redevelopment opportunity to “catalyse investment in the area”, according to the planning statement.

The plan outlines how the scheme will be cost-effective to run, regenerate a longstanding vacant site and accommodate around 280 total jobs between both the fire service and police.

The planning statement concludes: “The proposal is necessary to meet the operational and training requirements of the police and fire service, replacing outdated facilities by amalgamating functions and operations into a well designed and efficient hub facility, ensuring the future needs of the Borough’s residents are met in a cost-effective way in line with One Public Estate principles.”

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "The current police station is not fit for purpose and hasn’t been for some time. This partnership solution enables improvements for vital emergency services, maintains the visible police presence local people want, supports the local economy, and achieves best value for local taxpayers. I’m pleased to be delivering these improvements for the community in Redditch.”

Chief Fire Officer Jon Pryce said: “We’re pleased to be progressing this joint development with the OPCC and West Mercia Police.

“It will provide a new facility enabling HWFRS to deliver its core strategies of Response, Protection and Prevention. The new shared facility will also strengthen joint responses to emergencies, and builds on our commitment to collaborate with our blue-light partners.”

Edward Hancox, Superintendent at West Mercia Police, said: “We’re delighted that this project is progressing. A new home for West Mercia Police is much needed in Redditch and will help us to continue to deliver an excellent level of service to the communities we serve. Being co-located with HWFRS will further strengthen our partnership and allow us to provide the best possible response to joint incidents, and ultimately keep our communities even safer.”

The application is open to public comments on the Redditch Borough Council planning portal, under the reference 22/00016/FUL.