Questions asked about new Gloucester police station
CONCERNS have been raised over the impact of the closure of the Bearlands police headquarters on the city centre.
A new main police station will be built on the former fire station site in Eastern Avenue which the constabulary has bought from Gloucestershire County Council.
Demolition is scheduled to begin next month, but no planning application has been submitted yet and a cost has not been calculated.
The new base will replace the divisional headquarters in Bearlands which are 'past their sell-by date' and will be shut.
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Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said he hoped the new base would be complete 'within the next two years'.
He said police will retain a presence in the city centre but what that will be is not confirmed.
City council leader Paul James said the departure of another big employer would impact on trade.
He said: "In that sense I wish it was staying but we have to trust their judgment that it's the right thing to do for policing."
He questioned what would happen to the county council-owned Bearlands site as he said it would be 'difficult to bulldoze'.
Labour leader Councillor Kate Haigh said: "I do have some concerns. We will need to look at the balance of policing across the city centre."
But Neil Joyner from The Registry nightclub said he was not concerned.
He said: "Bearlands has had its day."
Mr Surl said the new site was served by a number of bus services and added: "It will provide better value for money and a better operational response for the public too."
He and Chief Constable Suzette Davenport are in talks about which services will transfer there.
There are already plans to build 50 police cells at Waterwells to replace the 15 at Bearlands. Details of the Eastern Avenue building are yet to be revealed.