Posted: 23.06.20 at 16:47 by Daniel Mumby - Local Democracy Reporter
Wells police teams should be moved into the city's fire station premises by the end of 2021, Avon and Somerset Constabulary's virtual police and crime panel heard this morning (June 23).
Avon and Somerset Police has published details of its property portfolio, detailing a number of stations across the area it polices which either need refurbishing to keep them functional or could be closed completely.
In some areas, such as Wells, police teams could soon share buildings with the fire service; in others, overly large buildings will be sold off while the teams remain in the community but in smaller premises.
An update on the future of police stations across the force’s operational area came before a virtual police and crime panel this morning.
Here’s a breakdown of what will happen between now and 2022:
Wells’ police teams will soon be sharing Wells fire station on Burcott Road with firefighters, following a decision by the police in July 2018.
Construction work to incorporate the police was paused due to the coronavirus, but the force is confident the project will be completed by the end of 2021, after which the existing Glastonbury Road station will be sold off.
Bath and North East Somerset Council granted permission in March 2019 for the enquiry desk on Manvers Street to be expanded to accommodate the neighbourhood policing team. The council will remain in control of the ground floor, from which its runs a ‘one-stop shop’ service.
Construction and refurbishment work on the site to make it suitable for the policing team is expecting to be completed by the middle of 2021.
Bristol has three police stations – and all of them are either undergoing significant changes or could face them in the years ahead.
The fate of the Broadbury Road station in West Knowle is still up for grabs, including disposing of part of it or leasing it out to other organisations – with a decision on either proposal expecting by mid-2021.
Kenneth Steele House on Feeder Road is undergoing a phased refurbishment programme at the moment, which is due to be completed by the autumn of 2020.
Trinity House will be redeveloped with a smaller police presence on site, with construction work expected to begin later in 2020 pending planning permission.
The police have not yet decided about the Burnham-on-Sea base on Burnham Road. An options appraisal will conclude in the coming months, with a decision over its future being taken by 2022.
The police are continuing their”options appraisal” regarding Chard’s police station on Millfield, which a Freedom of Information request revealed in September 2019 was “too big for our requirements”.
As things stand, the building could be vacated by 2022 – but no formal plans for relocation or sharing premises with the fire service (as in Wells) have yet come forward.
The police approved a business case for relocating from their current Minehead base on Townsend Road to a smaller location in the High Street.
The police will be applying to Somerset West and Taunton Council for planning permission in 2020, with a view to disposing of the old station in 2021.
The town’s new police station is based at the Haskins Retail Centre, and is expected to reopen later in 2020 following the coronavirus crisis.
The new station includes an enquiry office for the public, as well as a base for local neighbourhood policing teams and the Mendips patrol team.
Following an appraisal, the police have decided it would be better to refurbish the existing station on Kirkham Street than to vacate the premises and station officers elsewhere.
The refurbishment work could commence by April 2021, though details of how much this will cost have not been published.
The existing police station on West End was officially reopened in February 2020 after a refurbishment costing £300,000 to bring it up to standard.
The building houses the local beat time and its enquiry desk is open four days a week, and there are currently no plans to close it or reduce the service.
Taunton police station relocated to Deane House in December 2018, sharing premises with what is now Somerset West and Taunton Council.
The former police station on Shuttern will be “disposed of” during the summer of 2020.
Following the closure of Williton police station in March 2018, the police put together a business case for relocating officers and staff to part of West Somerset House, where Somerset West and Taunton Council has its joint headquarters.
Work to prepare the building will be starting in the summer of 2020, with the old base on the A39 Priest Street being old off by April 2021.
A £4M refurbishment scheme will see three full floors removed from the existing Horsey Lane station in Yeovil, leaving no custody cells on-site and those arrested in Yeovil being transported to the Bridgwater custody suite.
The police aim to have the project completed by the autumn of 2021, though the coronavirus may push this date back.