Police to build 50 cells in Quedgeley for suspected criminals
SUSPECTED criminals are to be housed in a new custody suite in Quedgeley.
Plans to build 50 cells in Waterwells Drive next to Gloucestershire Constabulary's headquarters were given the nod on Tuesday night.
Concerns had been raised about whether potential offenders would be left to wander through the area upon their release.
Councillor Andrew Lewis (C, Quedgeley Severn Vale) said: "I like the building as it is modern and functional.
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"My only concern being a Quedgeley resident is when these people are let out, where are they going to go? We could end up with 50 people coming through Quedgeley."
A council officer told him the police had said they would carry out a risk assessment before releasing anyone and in some cases they would be given a lift home or picked up by family and friends. She said some would use public transport and taxis.
The suite will house people arrested across the county while police question them and decide whether to charge or release them.
Once it is built, the existing custody suite at Bearlands will be closed.
Councillor Lise Noakes (C, Barnwood) said the facility was much needed as the existing custody suite in Gloucester city centre was out-dated and had been laughed at by visitors.
The site where the custody suite will be built is currently vacant.
No objections to the plans were received from the public or relevant agencies.
While most of the committee commended the design of the building, Councillor Mark Hobbs (L, Moreland) was keen to see the grey concrete structure treated in some way to make it more colourful.
He said: "I disagree with you.
"We have always strived for good quality buildings on this estate.
"None of the other buildings are grey.
"We have got a lot of people walking past this facility and I think we should be making it more aesthetically pleasing and I think we should ask for it to be changed."
Other councillors did not agree with his concerns and granted permission for the proposals as they were.