18 Nov Saffron Walden police station goes on the market
Saffron Walden police station has been placed on the market for sale as part of the existing plan shared by Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner to reduce the size of the estate.
Officers from the Local and Community Policing Teams and Special Constables will move into shared accommodation with Uttlesford District Council (UDC) at The Lodge on London Road. The move will enable closer and better working with partners. It is hoped the officers will be in place by early 2017.
Work is already underway to bring The Lodge up to the technological and security standards required by Essex Police.
Front counter services are still available at the UDC offices in London Road, Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays.
Saffron Walden police station is one of several to be sold as the estate is reduced from 80 to approximately 30 buildings.
The current police estate in Essex costs £10million a year in running costs but the buildings would require £30million of maintenance work to bring them up to standard. This money can be better invested in fighting and preventing crime more effectively.
Chief Inspector Craig Carrington, District Commander for Braintree and Uttlesford, said: “Regrettably Saffron Walden was unexpectedly closed in 2015 following a chemical leak.
“However this issue and previous rat and wasp infestations demonstrate exactly why this ageing building is no longer fit for the needs of a modern police force.
“My officers continue to work within the community providing a visible presence, investigating crimes, supporting victims, bringing criminals to justice and solving local problems.
“We are looking forward to moving into The Lodge in the New Year which will provide us with a base in the community.”
Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “It is good news for Uttlesford residents that Community and Local Policing Team officers, together with colleagues from the Special Constabulary, will continue to be based in Saffron Walden, working closely with the district council on locally determined community safety priorities.
“As we continue to ensure our property estate across the county is fit for 21st century policing, I will ensure that the money raised through selling properties is used primarily to help deliver more local, accessible and visible policing, a priority in my new Police and Crime Plan.”
The sale of Saffron Walden police station had been postponed for six months (between April and October this year) after it was nominated as an Asset of Community Value. However no bids have been received to purchase the building for community use, so the OPCC and Essex Police are placing it on the market.