Go-ahead for new police HQ

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A POLICE authority has been given the go ahead to build a police headquarters.

Durham Police Authority has been granted permission by Durham County Council’s planning committee to build the new Durham Constabulary headquarters at Aykley Heads, in Durham City.

Planning permission has also been granted to relocate the communications mast to a location next to the new facility that will enable housing to be developed on the site of the existing HQ.

The new headquarters will cost almost £15m and will be substantially funded by the proceeds of the sale of land from the police authority’s estate.

The existing site is expected to be sold for residential development for around 227 two, three, four and five bedroom properties.

Bosses say the plan will provide a welcome boost to the local economy. It will cover three floors and is expected to be operational from spring 2014.

Peter Thompson, Durham Police Authority chairman, said: “The new building is expected to save £750,000 per year and will be energy efficient unlike the current headquarters building. These savings will help us maintain an effective policing service to the people of County Durham and Darlington.

“This is a really exciting time for the authority and our constabulary and clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to value for money, community safety and service delivery. 

“This is on the back of crime continuing to fall, high detection rates and good levels of customer satisfaction.”