Leighton Buzzard police station could be moved to a cheaper, more central location while long-term plans are being drafted, it has been confirmed.
In a letter to South West Beds MP Andrew Selous, police and crime commissioner Olly Martins e explained the developments on his ‘estates strategy’ for the force, in a bid to drive down building costs which stand at £3m a year.
In the document Mr Martins reaffirms the force’s intention to close the town’s police station, on Hockliffe Road, and co-locate to a base which would also be used by Central Beds Council and Beds Fire and Rescue.
In the meantime a more centrally located base is being “fervently sought after” as at the moment the current station is costing the constabulary £83,000 a year to run- even though it is being used at just 10 per cent of its capacity.
Amanda Dodwell, Leighton-Linslade Mayor, has previously petitioned Mr Martins to keep the Hockliffe Road station open.
Mr Martins suggested that should a suitable site be found, the new base for the force, fire services and council could be a newly-built structure.
He told LBO: “There are similar decisions being made up and down the country as we find ourselves in austere times.
“In the meantime we are looking to make a saving on the station as it is 90 per cent unoccupied and not in a central location.
“This intention is to find somewhere else on a lease basis.”
Mr Martins added that relocating the station closer to the centre of town would increase flailing footfall.
He said: “This would make the station much more accessible and more would drop by.”