£21m police home moves step closer

An artist's impression of Blackpool's new police headquarters
An artist's impression of Blackpool's new police headquarters
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Plans for a £21m new police station in Blackpool have officially been lodged with the council.

The scheme will see the ageing Bonny Street HQ in the centre of the town replaced with a state-of-the-art new facility on Clifton Road in Marton if it gets the go ahead.

Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton have pledged to create an “inspirational environment for officers and staff to work in”, in contrast to the current building which is described as ‘brutal’ in planning documents.

A design statement accompanying the application says; “The design aim is to provide Lancashire Constabulary with a high quality office building which is not only a statement on how the organisation sees the future of modern policing within Lancashire, but also creates a landmark and key building for the force and Blackpool.

“The other main criteria of the scheme is to provide a custody facility that is modern and reflects the latest standards in its design and associated facilities.”

The plans include a 42-cell custody unit based on a radial design with a secure yard at the back.

Also proposed are 500 parking spaces of which 150 will be allocated for police operational vehicles.

Office accommodation will be mainly open plan and form the principle frontage to Clifton Road, with a height rising to a maximum of 13-and-a-half metres, although there will also be a 60 metre high communications mast.

Funding of £21m was set aside in 2012 to build the new station, but a decision on the location was not made until last year when the police entered into a deal with Blackpool Council to buy its former Progress House offices for £2.2m.

At the same time, the council is buying the Bonny Street site for £3.2m as part of its assembly of land towards long-awaited potential leisure development on the Central Station site.

A central crime-fighting unit will be retained with a police base being created inside the town hall buildings on Corporation Street.