Fire stations

Valuation Office Agency

November 22
12:01 2023

This section applies to all fire stations occupied by Fire and Rescue Services (formerly known as brigades) in England and Wales including London

2. List description and special category code

List Description: Fire Station and Premises

SCAT Code 010

SCAT suffix G

3. Responsible teams

This is a generalist class and responsibility for valuation will lie with the Regional Valuation Units. Queries of a complex nature arising from the valuation of individual properties should be referred to the NVU class facilitator via the class co-ordination team (CCT)

4. Co-ordination

The Emergency classes Co-ordination Team and the Civic Valuation Panel have responsibility for this class ensuring effective co-ordination across the business units. The team are responsible for the approach to and accuracy and consistency of ambulance station valuations. The team will deliver practice notes describing the valuation basis for revaluation and provide advice as necessary during the life of the rating list. Caseworkers have a responsibility to :

  • follow the advice given at all times

  • not depart from the guidance given on appeals or maintenance work, without approval from the co-ordination team

  • seek advice from the class co-ordination team before starting any new work

Purpose built fire stations are a sui generis class and consequently, as a general rule, only evidence relating to hereditaments in the same mode or category of use is pertinent.


  • Scottish and Newcastle (Retail) Ltd v Williams (VO) (RA 2000 P 119) and the subsequent Court of Appeal decision Williams (VO) v Scottish and Newcastle Retail and Allied Domecq [RA 2001 P 41)

  • Re the appeal of Reeves (VO) RA 2007 P168

  • Dawkins (VO) v Royal Leamington SpaBC and Warwickshire County Council (1961) RVR 291.

See Rating Manual section 3 part 2 paragraph 9.2 and appendix 1 thereof for further guidance on mode and category of use.

The method of valuation applicable to fire stations i.e. the contractors basis was endorsed by the Lands Tribunal(Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber) in

  • North Riding of Yorkshire County Council -v- Bell (VO) (1958)

And again by the Valuation Tribunal in

  • Somerset County Council v Hartwright (VO) (1999)

6.Survey Requirements

6.1 Method of Measurement

There is unlikely to be any useful rental evidence relating to fire stations and consequently the contractors basis of valuation will be applied to this class, the appropriate method of measurement will be Gross Internal Area (GIA).

There are however a number of stand- alone fire control centres for which direct rental evidence maybe available or are in the nature of offices/call centres for which a significant body of rental evidence exists. These hereditaments should be assessed using the rentals method of valuation and will fall to be measured to Net Internal Area (NIA). Where however a fire control centre is located together with a fire station or training facility then the valuation will be carried out by adopting the contractors basis and the facility should be measured to GIA

6.2 Description

6.2.1 Fire and rescue services (FRS) operate independently from each other although in recent years there has been a trend toward combining/sharing facilities such as fire control centres and specialised training facilities. Consequently although FRS may have differing policies that can impact upon the provision of fire stations, common requirements, and the demands of the Department of Housing Communities and Local Government (DHCLG) and the regulatory Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor dictate a degree of uniformity.

6.2.2 Subject to the comment above, however, the nature of the area covered by a station will dictate the size, design, crewing level and operation of individual fire stations

6.2.3 A fire station is essentially a building for the garaging of fire appliances and the storage of other ready to use fire- fighting equipment. The range of equipment will vary according to the size of the facility which is determined by its designation and purpose.

6.2.4 Many stations in rural areas are retained stations, operated by retained (i.e. part time) fire fighters and will usually be under 350m2 with one or two appliance bays. As the fire fighters are not full time there are unlikely to be dormitory facilities etc. but there will generally be a meeting room/training room, drying area, equipment store, muster room and office, toilet and shower facilities.

6.2.5 In urban areas fire stations are likely to be crewed 24 hours a day, cater for more appliances, have a canteen and dormitory facilities as well as a gymnasium, training and administrative offices in addition to the accommodation referred to at paragraph 6.2.4. They will generally be at least 500m2 GIA. Some large urban fire stations are several times that size. A comparatively small number of stations are day manned, being crewed by full time fire fighters during the daytime, but reverting to retained cover over night.

6.2.6 Many stations are now referred to as

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