Plans to move Hampshire Police HQ from Winchester to a trading estate in Chandlers Ford seem to have finally been ruled out as the police authority prepares to announce proposals which will see the earmarked Alpha Park site either wholly or partly sold off.
Alpha Park was bought by the authority in July 2007 for nearly £10 million and was set to bring 500 jobs to Eastleigh.
However next Monday, June 23, the Police Authority will meet to consider proposed changes to Hampshire Constabulary’s existing estate in order to save £50 million pounds by 2015.
Last year the Chief Constable Alex Marshall warned that if all of the £70 million worth of cuts were taken from the staff budget it would result in a 25% reduction in police officers and PCSOs
The most likely proposal to be adopted would see the front part of the former warehouse and office block sold off for £3 million and the remainder developed at the cost of a further £7 million.
The multimillion pound white elephant has stood derelict for the last four years becoming overgrown and falling prey to vandals while front line staff have faced cuts to jobs and hours due to lack of funding.
It is planned that the force HQ on Romsey Road in Winchester will now remain in use.
The plan had been for the HQ building to be sold for development in order to offset the purchase of the Alpha Park site on Electron Way.
The part of the site which the Police authority will retain will house vehicle workshops, the central archive, uniform stores, an enquiry centre and the driver training school.
Across the county there will be closures of police stations although in the Eastleigh area Hedge End and Bitterne will remain open, Twyford will move to a new location and Eastleigh will close temporarily while the site is redeveloped.
It is planned to retain the frontage of the 90 year old building but to extend and improve the rear.
Land to the side and rear of the Leigh Road site will be sold off for housing.
Although the station will be closed to the public during the work, local policing will continue to operate from porta cabins
A change in custody arrangement is also on the table.
In future villains will be banged up in one of just four custody suites – yet to be built at a cost of £30 million – located at Hook, Fareham, Winchester and Newport
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:
“The proposed changes won’t happen overnight – they will take place over a number of years, and Hampshire Constabulary’s commitment to an active presence in every neighbourhood is strong.”
Yesterday, Hampshire Constabulary also announced plans to merge its traffic police with neighbouring Thames Valley Police.
The move would see up to 82 front-line officer posts axed in a £20 million pound saving.
The force has said it intends to train community volunteers in the use speed guns.