Revealed – Police station could be demolished to make way for new homes
PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 December 2019
A police station in a Suffolk seaside town may be demolished with flats and houses built in its place, according to new proposals.
An application for outline planning permission has been submitted on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary to build nine homes on the land in Blyth Road, which currently occupied by Southwold Police Station.
The plans propose constructing a terrace of three homes and a two-storey block of flats, as well as 14 car parking spaces in the courtyard.
The site was historically used as Southwold's railway station between 1879 and 1929, with a plaque commemorating its transport past found on the side of the current building.
In the design and access statement in support of the plans, architects Chaplin Farrant have suggested keeping the plaque on any new buildings.
The site was also home to Southwold's fire station, which has since been relocated to neighbouring Reydon.
Chaplin Farrant said Southwold Town Council were "generally supportive" of the proposals to build homes in Blyth Road, but altered their plans after receiving feedback from the community.
This includes adding more car parking and cycle spaces, as well as allocating gardens to the ground floor flats.
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A spokesman said: "The proposals can be accommodated on site without having any adverse affects on the local highway network in terms of safety and capacity. We consider that the application proposals comprise of an acceptable and efficient use of the existing site."
Ian Bradbury, town mayor of Southwold, said: "We always need more homes in Southwold. We are hoping that the police will be having consultation with the public on this project."
Police officers covering the Southwold area are now deployed from Halesworth and Southwold Police Station as a "surplus to operational requirements", following a shake-up in 2016.
That's according to police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, who explained: "The police station site is to be sold and an outline planning application has been submitted for residential use.
"This, if granted, provides potential developers with some degree of certainty and enables me to secure the best possible price for the site, which I'm statutorily required to do.
"The outline plan, which has been submitted to East Suffolk Council this week, is seeking permission for the demolition of the existing building and construction of nine new residential dwellings.
"The site will be marketed in the new year following the outcome of the planning application by the district council."
The police station in Southwold is situated opposite a series of businesses which have been at the centre of controversial plans to bring
The businesses, including a garage and convenience store, were due to be demolished next year to make way for a complex that councillors said will bring up to 90 new jobs to Southwold.
However, the enterprise hub plans have been put on hold after the town council agreed to set up a "working group" to develop plans that would accommodate the affected businesses.