A REPLACEMENT fire station to serve Pontypool has been given the green light by Torfaen Borough Council planners. 

The South Wales Fire and Rescue Service submitted plans to demolish and replace the existing station at New Road, New Inn, in August last year. 

It said the station, which opened in 1952, is no longer “fit for purpose” and would benefit from “complete replacement” as it was built to be staffed by just 10 to 15 people and isn’t capable of being easily retrofitted or altered to suit the modern demands. 

The new building will feature solar panels on its roof, sustainable design principles including insulation to achieve net zero targets and cycle storage, as well as being “prepared for the current and future operational needs of the fire service.” 

It will be taller than the existing building, measuring 9.9 metres at its highest point, but will drop down to 3.9m as it gets closer to its eastern boundary. It will be 5.5m from a neighbouring property, with the current gap just 1.75m. 

In a report, approving the application with conditions, Torfaen planning officer Simon Pritchard stated: “Taking into account the existing building, the proposal is not considered to significantly impact upon neighbouring properties’ living conditions in terms of being overbearing or impacting their privacy.” 

The station’s existing brick training tower will also be replaced with a black steel frame tower which, at 11.3m high, will be of a similar height. 

South Wales Argus: The existing brick training tower will be replaced with a steel structure.The existing brick training tower will be replaced with a steel structure. (Image: Torfaen County Borough Council planning file.)

Mr Pritchard said: “The need for the drill tower is appreciated and given its location to the rear of the site, there is no objection.” 

There will also be 23 parking spaces, including three disabled bays and five electric vehicle charging stations, while the station is also close to the number 23 bus route that runs to Newport city centre and Pontypool, and is less than a mile from Pontypool and New Inn train station. 

Mr Pritchard said the council’s highways officer’s request for “further details to justify the number of car parking spaces” was “not considered necessary” as there were no other objections. Access will remain from a road along the western boundary with fire engines leaving the site direct on to New Road in a forward gear. 

South Wales Argus: An image showing how the replacement station will look.An image showing how the replacement station will look. (Image: Torfaen County Borough Council planning file.)

The officer described the existing station as “a simple attractive design, with architecture features of its decade” and said the new building is divided between a highly glazed western part with a two-storey glazed entrance and a lower, brick built, three bay ‘garage’ or appliance bay, to the east, to house the fire engines. 

Three trees will have to be removed as part of the development but they are all classed as of “low value” and will be replaced with five field maples across the site and new hedgerow, shrubs and grass. Bat and bird boxes will also be put up. 

A planning application for a temporary fire station to “ensure an appropriate level of service in Pontypool” is maintained during the construction period is also due to be submitted.