Plans to transform “under-used” police station site moving forward after closure threat (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Plans to transform Christchurch police station at Bargates site move forward after closure threat
PLANS to transform the ‘under-utilised’ Christchurch police station and Magistrates court site are progressing.
Dorset Police announced on Monday that the station on the Bargates site could close, but vowed to continue a presence in the town.
Agents marketing the multi-million pound town centre land say they are ‘seeking expressions of interest’ for the site between Bargates and Barrack Road.
The 4.74 acres site in the heart of the town is owned by Dorset County Council, Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Police and the Hospital of St Mary Magdalen Trust.
The agents, Goadsby Comm-ercial and Colliers International say it is suitable for a variety of uses.
A spokesperson said: “At this stage it is only expressions of interest that we are seeking as some parts of the site have not yet been declared surplus to requirements, including the current police station.”
Plans have been discussed for years by councillors and officers to redevelop the town centre site – at one time a supermarket was suggested as an option in 2012.
Back in 2001, Christchurch Borough Council pledged £75,000 towards the revamp of the court site, with plans to stimulate trade, attract major investment and bring Bargates and the High Street shopping areas together.
In 2003, their plans for a mixed development to include housing, retail, and community and leisure facilities on the site were mooted as part of a draft town centre strategy.
Earlier this week, leader of Christchurch council, Cllr Ray Nottage responded to concerns about the potential closure of the police station, saying: “We are one of the parties involved in proposals to develop a currently under-used part of the town centre.
“The area currently houses the Christchurch police station and we will be working with Dorset Police to ensure that there will continue to be a police present in Christchurch in a suitable location.”
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