Cannock Police Station to get £284,000 revamp
Cannock Police Station is to be ‘urgently’ revamped in a project worth more than a quarter of a million pounds – but it could scupper council bosses’ vision for the town centre.
The station on Wolverhampton Road has been deemed ‘unfit for purpose’ by police chiefs who have revealed asbestos needs to be removed which would cost around £90,000.
However the building has been branded operationally important in order to house the recently re-organised Justice Services Department for the south of Staffordshire, which would accommodate 45 staff.
It comes within months of Cannock Chase District Council releasing it’s ten year vision for the town centre, which included relocating the police station to the council house at Beecroft Road.
But the Police and Crime Commissioner has now effectively ruled that out stating the idea incurred a ‘very high cost’, while the revamp would cost around £284,000.
Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: “Cannock Police Station is not fit for future needs and requires improvement, as well as the removal of asbestos.
"This project will provide accommodation for the recently re-organised Justice Services Department and will result in a new prosecution hub for this part of the county, able to deliver the effective prosecution of those accused of crimes and assist in achieving cost savings of £750,000 a year that arise from the reorganisation of the department.
“Previous attempts to co-locate services with Cannock Chase District Council were not successful and had a very high cost.”
The council’s vision wanted to see the station and Cannock Library transformed into homes.
However the PCC said: “Timescale for these works is now urgent given the restructure of the Justice Services Department and the recruitment of staff and the complexity of these works.
“The discovery process relative to both the structural works and the asbestos works has caused the project programme to reach a critical point.”
Councillor George Adamson, leader of Cannock Chase District Council, said the masterplan was something that remains open to change going forward.
He said: "The plans are still out for consultation at the moment so it is very early days and with a plan like this you have to be flexible because it is going to take so long to come to fruition.
"Personally, I would like to see the station revamped because I believe we need a police station and a strong police presence in the town centre."