Police station flats anger

Cleveleys police station
Cleveleys police station
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Plans to transform a police station in to five apartments has re-ignited a debate over its closure.

The front counter operation in Cleveleys was moved to Fleetwood in October 2012 as part of Lancashire police’s cutbacks to close 14 services and save £386,000.

Removing the police’s presence in the town sparked a huge row as campaigners feared crime would rise if the nearest station was at Fleetwood’s North Church Street station.

The debate has today re-surfaced as plans were submitted to Wyre Council to renovate the station into two-bedroom apartments after the building was bought for £200,000 at auction.

Coun Andrea Kay, who represents Wyre Council on Cleveleys Chamber of Trade, said: “I don’t want to see it turned into apartments.

“I would prefer to see it used as a police station because that’s what is missing in Cleveleys.

“Everyone says they miss it when I speak to people in meetings and I know times have moved on, but we need it in the town centre.”

Lytham, South Shore, Cleveleys and Garstang stations were all closed to the public in the cost-cutting operation.

But Coun Kay wants to see a police station return to Cleveleys.

She added: “We see police officers and PCSOs in the town centre but we are missing the fact there’s a police station.

“I appreciate we are going to re-develop this but we don’t need flats or more apartments.”

Julie Portman, of Cleveleys Chamber of Trade added: “We definitely need a police station in the town because there’s a lot of thefts in Cleveleys and the community presence of the station has been lost.”

Ronald Richardson bought the premises at auction in December last year and plans to spend a further £100,000 refurbishing the flats.

He said: “Someone told me it would be a great project for offices or apartments because of the parking outside, so I bid on the space and got it.

“The external structure of the building will be the same but inside it will be totally refurbished and I have had an amazing amount of interest from residents excited about what’s going on.

“I’m going to make them high quality and high specification, and put in new kitchens and carpets, which will cost the best part of £100,000.”

Lancashire Police declined to comment.