The Stoke and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority is tasked with governing and overseeing the provision of fire and rescue services for Staffordshire.
NJL Consulting were instructed to assist Calderpeel Architects and the Kier Group in coordinating and submitting ten reserved matters and one full planning application for the development of 11 new community fire stations across the Midlands on behalf of the Authority.
Timescales were tight as the project was Private Finance Initiative-funded and relied on planning permission being secured within a specified period. Additionally, a number of the schemes faced local opposition due to their proximity to residential development.
NJL promptly arranged pre-application meetings with each of the case officers to ascertain validation requirements and receive design guidance. Following this, the necessary information was assembled and the applications submitted. Having forged relationships with each of the local planning authorities, NJL then kept in close contact throughout the determination period, responding to neighbour queries and submitting further information as required. As a ‘community fire station' is a relatively modern conception, fully outlining the benefits to the local populace was central to gaining support.
All 11 of the applications have now been approved within the required timescales, and NJL's strong negotiation skills and management of the local authorities has been recognised by the client.