By Mariam Ghaemi
Monday, January 28, 2013
A POLICE building in Bury St Edmunds is being sold by the constabulary to save money.
But a residents’ association has expressed concern the site in Maynewater Lane could become another housing development and add to parking woes in the area.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said Maynewater House was not used as an operational police station, but purely for office accommodation, and staff had been able to relocate to office space at the police station in Raingate Street.
The Maynewater House site is being advertised with Spice Property Consultants, based in Ipswich, as having refurbishment or redevelopment potential. Tina Keeley, of the firm, said mainly the interest received so far was from property developers.
In September a development of flats at the former Linnet Service Station site down the road was granted planning permission despite concerns from a number of quarters, including over the lack of parking in the area.
Matthew Moss, chairman of the Saxon Gate Community Association, which represents an estate across the stream from Maynewater House, said non-residents using the estate to park was becoming more and more of an issue as the parking area at the former service station site - opposite businesses - had now been lost.
He said he hoped if the Maynewater House site became housing there would be adequate parking.
“There is the risk of overdeveloping in an area which has got quite dense housing units,” he said.
His hopes for the site are a convenience store or a community hall to cater for nearby residents.
He added the association’s committee is in discussions with councillors about a proper parking survey for the estate.
The police spokeswoman said the force was currently in the midst of a four-year programme to make savings of more than £17million.
As part of this it is reviewing its estate to ensure people have access to police services, in buildings which are affordable and fit-for-purpose, with modern working conditions for officers and staff.
The spokeswoman said Maynewater House - originally built in 1970 as residential accommodation for single serving officers - was now surplus to requirements and would be sold to generate money to help meet its savings target while helping to preserve front-line policing.
“Following the opening of the Police Investigation Centre in River Lane during 2011 work was undertaken last year to convert the former custody suite in the Raingate Street police station to office space thereby enabling relocation of staff from Maynewater House.”