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New multi-million pound police base back on the cards
A NEW £9million Hampshire police ‘campus’ could be in full use by 2015 after a U-turn on plans to sell part of it off.
Alpha Park, below, in Chandler’s Ford, was bought four years ago as a replacement for Hampshire Constabulary’s headquarters at West Hill, Winchester, which are not considered fit-for-purpose.
But last year, parts of the new site were earmarked for a £3m sell-off as finance bosses looked at ways to save more than £50m.
Now members of Hampshire Police Authority – which controls the force’s finances – want to return to the original idea and use the whole of the site, but as an “operational police campus”.
He added: “What appeared to be a simple decision to buy premises and kit it out has been bounced about from department to department and delayed.
“But now a decision has been made, we welcome it. We should now get on with making the site fit-for-purpose.”
The building will house a range of departments including the vehicle workshop, Force Enquiry Centre and IT team.
Bosses say the U-turn was made in a bid to “co-locate centralised units to realise efficiencies and synergy”.
The decision was taken as part of moves to ‘rationalise’ the constabulary’s land and building stock – a process star-ted in 2008.
The estates development programme includes plans to build four new custody centres as well as a new headquarters at Winchester’s Mottisfont Court, which could be ready for 170 staff by the end of next year.
Hampshire Police Authority chairman Councillor Adrian Collett said: “The reduction in the policing budget has meant we have been giving consideration to how policing can adapt.
“This has not been an easy process, and we have spent a long time looking for the right solution.”