Green light for police move into Civic Centre offices


Police - Credit: Archant

Switching St Albans police into a new base in the council offices took a step forward this week when the scheme got planning permission.

Agreement was reached in principle last autumn that St Albans Police would move into the ground floor and basement of the Civic Centre when their current premises close in Victoria Street.

They would be accommodated on the ground floor and in the basement of the Civic Centre with existing council staff moving up to the first and second floors.

Approximately 10 per cent of the civic offices would be given over to police with 40 parking spaces designated in the basement area of the council-owned car park in Bricket Road.

The parking situation generated the only complaint about the proposal which came from a member of the public who holds an NCP season ticket and has previously parked in the basement level of the car park.

The resident said that he had been able to park in the basement car park for 15 years and alternative car parks that were farther away would not be suitable.

There will be no custody suite or holding cells at the new police station but it will be in use 24 hours a day. A report to Tuesday’s planning referrals committee suggested that the increased hours of use would be unlikely to impact on surrounding properties and “the new use of the part of the building as a police station would be likely to foster a greater sense of safety in the surrounding area.”

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The application had to go before district councillors because the council is the landowner of the site in question.