There was no need to be alarmed when a fire engine turned up at Bidford's newest neighbourhood recently.
It was all part of a special partnership between the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue service and local house builder Bovis Homes, which has seen crew members tackling training exercises at the new homes site to hone their skills.
Ahead of putting in place their building programme to deliver 150 brand new homes at the location off Salford Road, Bovis Homes allowed the fire teams to use an old derelict property on the land for emergency exercises, before it is demolished next month.
Huw Lewis, Crew Commander at Bidford on Avon Fire Station, said the training has proved invaluable. "Having the support of Bovis Homes to enhance the Brigade's training programme is great for us," he said. "It is not often that we can carry out a variety of scenarios on a property such as this, and having the chance to use water in these scenarios is also very rare. I'd like to say a big thank you to the Bovis Homes West Midlands team!"
Representatives from Bovis Homes witnessed a recent night exercise at first hand. Tim Evans, Regional Technical Manager, said: "What an interesting event it was to attend! Meeting the Bidford On Avon team was a real pleasure and the training that I witnessed really reinforced the professionalism, dedication and courage that these fire fighters clearly have in spades!"
Bovis Homes were recently granted planning consent to build 150 new homes in the location. Work will start soon, with a show home set to open in April of next year and new residents expected to move in in the summer.
The new development will include a range of properties, from two-bedroom bungalows and starter homes, to five-bedroom houses. Along with a play area and open green spaces, the proposals include plans for 52 homes that will be designated as affordable housing for local people. Bovis Homes will also be funding and delivering significant infrastructure work, including contributions towards education, library, public transport and travel initiatives.
"New developments are about more than bricks and mortar and we look to work closely with local communities where we are operating," said Tim. "Our work with the fire team is part of that and we will also be bringing major economic benefits to the area, creating jobs and helping to boost the local property market."