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Uncertainty surrounds future of new Eastern Avenue police station

By The Citizen  |  Posted: June 17, 2014

Eastern Avenue site

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Doubt surrounds the future of a new state of the art police station for Gloucester with confusion over where the facility should be sited.

Development of a high tech new resource for city policing at the former fire station at Eastern Avenue was expected to be well under way by now.

Police insiders said fine detail of the planning procedure, including how many lockers were needed for officers, had been completed months ago with a view to the centre opening later this year.

But the proposed site remains derelict, with little work completed and few signs of progression.

The delays have seen speculation mount as to where the new police station will now be built. The existing Bearlands Police Station with CCTV control room remains open at full working capacity in the heart of Gloucester.

Gloucestershire County Council rents the building to the force for a peppercorn £1 a year, with annual running costs of around £250,000.

City MP Richard Graham, who has thrown his weight behind a new central justice centre, is now calling for cheaper options to be considered.

He said: “Eastern Avenue is an expensive option for our constabulary and I am sure the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable will be looking at alternatives.

“Those include a city centre solution, which I strongly support.

“The cleared space of the Barbican, already in city council ownership, offers one option, alongside my vision for a new Justice Centre and a new Civic Centre.

“The police know my views and it is for them to make a decision in due course that is good for our city and for my constituents.”

The former fire station was vacated in 2012, clearing the way for a proposed £3.4million police station to be built in its place.

Gloucestershire Constabulary paid the county council £900,000 for the Eastern Avenue site, and has provisionally set aside £2.5million in an outline business case.

It is hoped a new police hub will strengthen community links, and offer a prime location for officers to respond from a central location.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “The Police Authority secured the Eastern Avenue site before I took office and it is still very much an option.

“Moving from Bearland will be an important move for the constabulary when it happens and it makes no sense to rush.

“A great deal of work has already gone into re-developing the police estate.

“The new custody suite is well under way and we will soon be re-locating our investigative teams to the Waterwells Estate. It is a dynamic plan that also has to be flexible.

“Re-locating a police resource is a very complex operation and involves more than just bricks and mortar.”

Mr Surl has already made estimated savings of £2.5m by switching the location of a new base for investigative police officers.

Gloucestershire police had been planning to build a new home for the officers on land close to its HQ in the Waterwells estate on the outskirts of the city.

But the vacant former Kodak offices in Davy Way were snapped up instead, helping fast track the move for CID officers and other specialists from the current hub in Lansdown Road, Cheltenham.

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  • RoadWombat  |  June 18 2014, 12:46PM

    It's all the same public money, anyway, just juggled around between budgets, so it makes no difference really whether Gloucestershire County Council or the Police Authority technically own it. It amounts to the same thing.

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  • spindles12  |  June 18 2014, 9:03AM

    QUOTE: "Eastern Avenue is an expensive option for our constabulary and I am sure the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable will be looking at alternatives" WHY did the PCC choose an expensive, out of the centre site in the first place if he's now having second thoughts? They should have been absolutely sure that it was the right place before spending all that money. They paid £900,000 and have left it sitting there, the land probably getting more and more valuable and when they decide that Eastern Avenue isn't the best place for another expensive building to house the police I bet the land will get sold to a developer for a LOT more than £900,000 and any profit will presumably go into building an even more lavish place for the police. I wonder how the Council will feel if the land does get sold on for a vast profit?

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  • dcfc79  |  June 17 2014, 5:29PM

    Who says its going to be a supermarket ?

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  • NibNobs  |  June 17 2014, 2:25PM


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