A NEW proposal for the Northumbria Police headquarters in Ponteland is being unveiled.
An outline planning application for residential development at the site will soon be submitted by Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Vera Baird.
It follows a decision by the former Police Authority to relocate most services away from Ponteland, where the force has been well-supported by the local community.
Having a traditional headquarters site was not considered the best way to deliver operational policing and services across neighbourhoods in the region.
Ms Baird said: “The Chief Constable (Sue Sim) and I are very committed to maintaining the number of police officers and staff working in our neighbourhoods, but to do this, we need to reorganise to prioritise our goals.”
The site’s redevelopment would avoid using greenfield land. The existing police headquarters access off North Road would remain in place.
The Force says that the plans centre on maintaining the listed buildings at the site and they also take into consideration both the characteristics of the site and Ponteland village. They are accompanied by an ecological survey, transport assessment, archaeological appraisal and design-and-access statement.
The principle of providing both housing and police-related uses on the site was found to be acceptable by both the former Castle Morpeth Council and Northumberland County Council in recent years, although the fact that a new application has been put forward means that the proposal will go through the public comments process and be determined by the county council’s west area planning committee.
If the outline application is approved, a reserved-matters application will be required before any work begins to agree the specific layout and design of individual buildings.
The plans can be viewed at a public roadshow in Ponteland on Tuesday. It is being held in Merton Hall on Merton Way from 2pm to 8pm.
Comments can also be submitted in writing by February 26 to the following address: Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, 2nd Floor, Victory House, Balliol Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE12 8EW; or by email to email@example.com