Police station scheme on hold

PLANS to re-develop Morpeth Police Station have been put on hold.

The Northumbria Police Authority unveiled in winter 2009 the four options it was looking at to modernise the facilities, as currently officers are based in old buildings on the site of the former Morpeth Jail.

All would involve new buildings, or at the very least a new extension, to meet the needs of 21st century policing, but a reduction in the authority’s budget has put the scheme on the back burner.

The organisation’s Chairman, Coun Mick Henry, said: “These are difficult financial times.

“We have less money to spend and our priority is to protect frontline policing.

“This means we have reviewed the development projects that were planned and only those which are essential will go ahead.

“The re-development of Morpeth Police Station is not considered as essential at this time and has therefore been put on hold.”

The original plans caused controversy as two of the options would have seen a new facility being built on part of the playground at the adjacent Morpeth First School.

Governors, teachers and parents complained that the loss of space would be unacceptable unless the school had a new home.

Following consultation, the police authority decided not to go ahead with those particular proposals.