A THREE-STOREY block on the Dorset Police site at Winfrith could be demolished and replaced with a new headquarters building.

A planning application for the proposal has been lodged in the name of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The new building, if approved, will replace the T-shaped building to be demolished, referred to as the A10 building, close to the entrance of the campus-style site.

The new office block will be three-storeys and broadly triangular in shape with central stair wells and a café close to the entrance.

Bournemouth Echo: Winfrith Police Hq   Building In Red For Demolition

All the other existing buildings on the site will remain as they are.

The application also allows for the creation of an additional 15 car parking spaces  – an increase from the present 91 and will include eight electric vehicle charge bays, although the new building will only offer a small amount of additional space, compared to the existing complex.

The planning application to Dorset Council says the existing building is no longer fit for purpose and has maintenance problems: “Internally the space is dated and does not provide a healthy, high quality work environment which encourages communication and collaboration. The new building will need to provide a space which will support the Force to work efficiently and also provide a healthy, modern, fit for purpose office environment. As well as providing sufficient office space and meeting rooms, an important part of the brief internally is to provide breakout space, a cafe space and also space for staff to decompress,” said a planning document with the application.

Bournemouth Echo: Winfrith Police Hq Existing

The proposals show additional security measures, including fencing and new bollards, and the retention of the memorial garden to the rear of the building although the existing war memorial will be relocated to the front of the new building. The roof will be fitted with solar panels with a plant room on the third floor.

Some trees will need to be removed, if the application is approved, but replacement planting is being proposed as part of the scheme along with landscaping to soften the security measures.

Said the document to Dorset Council : “Overall the proposals will provide a high quality, efficient, headquarters building for Dorset Police to replace a building which is no longer fit for use. The new building will provide space that is both flexible and suitable for modern day policing requirements. The proposals will have little to no impact on the surrounding area and will improve the setting of the main entrance for all visitors and staff.”

Dorset Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have been asked the expected cost of the new building but would only say that the investment in Winfrith and other police buildings would be "multi millions" of pounds.

Public comments on the application, Dorset Council reference 2021/04422, remain open until December 12th.