Commissioner agrees to buy land for Milton police station to replace Parkside base
A decision has been made to purchase green belt land beside Milton Park & Ride to build a new police station.
Police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston gave the go-ahead for the purchase at the Commissioner’s Business Coordination Board held today (Wednesday, January 5).
Plans for the new police station which will replace Parkside Police Station in Cambridge were approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee in March 2021.
Mr Preston said: “The investment means the constabulary will be able to meet the needs of our ever-growing population and better respond to the challenges of modern-day policing.”
A full archaeological dig, which is anticipated to take around nine months, will need to be completed on the site before work can start on the build.
Once completed further due diligence work will be carried out to ensure the best value for money on the project, say the commissioner’s office.
Chief constable Nick Dean said: “From the constabulary’s viewpoint we are pleased that the commissioner has made the decision to purchase the land in Milton, following on from the planning approval for the police station last year.
“Archaeological digs on the site, which will no doubt take time to complete, are now scheduled to take place.
“Once completed, further decisions will be required to be taken by the commissioner, after a review of where we are, given the current market conditions on building supplies and services, before decisions are taken on how to proceed with the project.”
Cambridgeshire Constabulary announced it intended to close Parkside police station in central Cambridge, which acts as its main hub and custody suite in the south of the county, and move to Milton in 2019.
The constabulary uses a “two-centre policing model” with hubs and custody suites at Parkside and Peterborough.
But Parkside has been described as “not fit for purpose” and “beyond its functional age” with the force stating it sometimes has to take people to Peterborough to be detained due to a lack of suitable custody provision in Cambridge.
Some 22 locations were considered, but only three were suitably sized and available, all in the green belt. The Milton site was deemed of the “lowest value to the green belt”.
The new building will include:
- Enhanced facilities enabling the constabulary to respond to, and investigate, complex crimes such as fraud and online investigations more effectively.
- Enhanced facilities allowing for the increased use of virtual courts which reduces the need for travel to courts
- Increase in cell provision from 12 to 24 to help meet future demand
- The facilities and ability to better meet demand as population growth continues
- Better road access, subject to less traffic, enabling officers to respond to calls for service more efficiently
The project, as previously stated, will also include a city centre police station for the neighbourhood policing teams.
However, while a review is being completed, identifying suitable premises will be on hold and operational business will continue at Parkside.