Hundreds air views on Newark Police Station relocation proposal
Hundreds of people have given their views on plans to close Newark’s 15-year-old police station and relocate it to a new building alongside council offices.
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry says there has been a strong response to a call for people to make their opinions known on the idea through a public survey.
The current station, on Queen’s Road, was built in 2006 at a cost of £7m.
But the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford, says the building is now 75% underused.
He said the majority of Newark police officers are out on patrol and not desk-based and the relocation would result in a net saving of £102,000 a year.
Proposals to close and relocate it were made by the former Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping.
But after he lost the position in the May 2021 local election, Conservative Mrs Henry said the proposal needed to be revisited to ensure it is what the public want.
She has launched a public survey, which has already received hundreds of responses.
She said: “The police station was never going to be closing, it was going to be relocating but I am still looking at the best way forward.
“What is the cost to move it and what are the benefits and pitfalls and what are the costs going forward by keeping the current building?
“A lot of that big building is empty because they closed the custody suite there and they are only using part of the upstairs. The building also looks a lot bigger than it is.”
If the site is closed in Queen’s Road, officers would move to a purpose-built unit at Newark and Sherwood District Council’s headquarters in Castle House.
The police station would then be demolished so plans for new homes and businesses to be built on the site could be submitted in a bid to improve the area.
Nottinghamshire Police say in recent years Newark had been blighted by retail decline, decreasing footfall in the town centre, skill shortages, low wages and a lack of new residential and family entertainment venues.
In a bid to tackle this, the force says releasing the land the station is currently on would help transform the town centre.
In July 2020, the Newark Towns Fund Board, which comprises of more than 40 private and public businesses and organisations, won £25m of government funding to improve the town.
Part of that money would be spent on the relocation of the current police station.
Mrs Henry said: “I want to make sure every penny of our money is spent really wisely and that is really important. A decision will be made over the summer.”