Cambridgeshire police plan to close Parkside station in Cambridge and move to Milton
A new police station replacing the one in Cambridge city centre is planned for the outskirts of Milton.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite is planning to close the station at Parkside, a key part of the police estate valued at £35million in December 2016.
The force announced it was in talks over a new station earlier in the year, but until now had given no indication of where it would be.
The commissioner’s office has now revealed a proposal for the new station to be built in a field adjacent to the Milton Park & Ride site, just off the A10.
No formal planning application has yet been submitted.
The proposal document says: “Whilst the proposed new station will service the south of the county, a Police Information Point and community policing team will remain within Cambridge city, the precise location of which will be decided in due course.”
A spokesman for the commissioner’s office said the plans have the potential to double the station’s custody capacity and open up “long-term revenue income opportunities” from the land at Parkside.
They said the current station would remain open throughout development.
Mr Ablewhite is inviting people to Milton Primary School on Monday June 10 from 7pm, to hear his plans.
Outlining the thinking behind the move the proposal document says: “A number of other locations have been looked at, but the proposed site at Milton provides the chief constable with the best location to meet operational demand. This site has better road access and will enable officers to respond to calls for service more efficiently. It also provides increased custody provision to meet Home Office requirements for new builds.”
Mr Ablewhite said: “With Cambridgeshire’s population set to grow by 20 per cent by 2030, it’s vital that the chief constable has the resources he needs to meet growing demand.
“Parkside Police Station has provided a good service since it was constructed in 1967. However the layout of the building does not meet modern policing requirements and the number of custody cells needs increasing.
“At present, when these are full, police officers have to transport the people they arrest to Peterborough. Clearly this takes them away from attending other calls for service in Cambridge and the surrounding area.
“The meeting onJune 10 is an opportunity for local people to listen to my proposals. There will also be an opportunity to view the plans and ask any questions. Following the meeting, I will be inviting people to have their say on my website.”
Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “The proposed site for a new police station for the south of the county in Milton is based around the operational need of the force to work more effectively and efficiently, as well as to improve our custody facilities.
“The aim is for the new site to future proof our ability to police Cambridgeshire, given the level of growth anticipated in the surrounding areas, and the changing nature of crime and demand on our services.”
A survey for people to give their views on the proposal will open on June 10 and close on July 5.
Security concerns about the move have already been raised by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and others.
A petition has also been launched by Labour councillors opposing the plans.
More by this authorBen Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter