The fire house would be used for training involving ‘hot fire’ scenarios, such as entering a building on fire or filled with smoke, breathing apparatus training, multi-pump exercises, collaboration between police and fire services or partnership working with other fire services and training for retained firefighters
A vacant plot of Warwickshire County Council-owned land on Paynes Lane, Rugby, near the Cemex plant, was most recently used as a highways depot. It has lay dormant since 2021.
The county plans to build a new training centre where fire and rescue situations can be simulated, plus a welfare building containing changing rooms, showers, toilets, storage and drying rooms for equipment, offices and meeting rooms and a kitchenette.
The council’s report details: “The fire house would be used for training involving ‘hot fire’ scenarios, such as entering a building on fire or filled with smoke, breathing apparatus training, multi-pump exercises, collaboration between police and fire services or partnership working with other fire services and training for retained firefighters.”
The fire service’s requirements will see it utilised 194 days per year, anywhere between 8am and 10pm. There will also be a filtration unit built to prevent air pollution.
The report adds: “The emissions and smoke produced by such fires would be captured by means of collection hoods above all exit points.
“The emissions are then drawn upwards through the hoods and via interconnecting ductwork to the filtration plant on the south side of the building where particles and gases are scrubbed before the clean air is released.”
The council considers the area to be “characterised by light industrial and other employment uses”, and while the nearest residential properties are around 170 metres away, no objections have been received.
Warwickshire County Council’s regulatory committee unanimously backed the proposals but chair Councillor Jill Simpson-Vince (Con, Brownsover & Coton Park) suggested it would be prudent to publicise the new use ahead of opening to prevent unnecessary panic and subsequent calls to the emergency services.
“Being a Rugby councillor, I know this junction really well, as does everyone in Rugby,” she said.
“It is nice to see sites being redeveloped but something like this is going to be quite obvious when it goes up. Activity is also going to be visual, it is a really busy traffic junction.
“Can we make sure there is a lot of publicity when this first opens? Everyone gets curious when a new building appears, something like this is quite a distinctive building and so many cars will sit at those traffic lights looking at it, trying to work out what it is.
“If people get to know what it is, it helps with that going forward. You can just see Twitter exploding with something like this, let’s deal with it before it becomes a problem to solve further down the line, even if it is temporary signage or in the local papers.”