With the construction of a new police station for Harrogate now well underway, North Yorkshire Police have announced that plans to keep a police presence in the town centre have come to fruition with the securing of a temporary town centre police station and a proposal to co-locate with Harrogate Borough Council when they move to new headquarters.
Temporary premises for a town centre police base have been secured at Craven Lodge on Victoria Avenue which will provide a police base for the next three years. Work is currently underway to prepare the building in time for the 35-strong Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team to move into before the existing station moves to Beckwith Knowle.
The force has also welcomed proposals from Harrogate Borough Council to purchase the North Park Road site for the development of new council headquarters. Giving NYP the option to co-locate with the council, providing a permanent base in the longer term.
When the force announced the decision to relocate the current police station to the new site in Beckwith Knowle, Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell made a commitment to keep a policing presence in the town centre.
Mr Maxwell said:
Part of the overall plan to provide a new police station for Harrogate was to ensure we maintained a presence in the town centre itself – an important factor for local people.
We promised we would open a town centre police office, and I am very pleased to announce that we have honoured that commitment by securing the future of policing in Harrogate through this temporary move and by negotiating with Harrogate Borough Council for a more permanent facility.
Being accessible to the people we serve is at the heart of what we do and therefore a key priority for us.
We welcome the option of sharing premises and providing a one-stop shop for members of the public, which not only benefits local residents but makes sound financial sense.
Jane Kenyon, Chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Authority added:
Today’s announcement of a new town centre location for the Safer Neighbourhood Team marks a major milestone in our plans for Harrogate and the wider communities. With the Chief Constable, the Authority has always maintained that securing a suitable and accessible town centre location would be a priority and I am delighted that we are able to progress further with our preparations.
The Authority members, charged with ensuring that the police force has the resources and facilities to serve the public well, placed this project firmly at the top of the estates transformation list. We did fully and carefully scrutinize the project before we gave the go-ahead and continue to do so with regular updates on progress being given to us. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the new facilities support the best possible policing service for Harrogate residents and the county as a whole. We are very much looking forward to the opening of both stations.
New police station at Beckwith Knowle – update on build progress
Construction work began on the new police station on 21 February 2011 and is on target for the expected completion date of May 2012. Already the building is on track to meet excellent ratings for environmental assessment and the Considerate Constructor’s Scheme.
The building design supports North Yorkshire Police’s aim to reduce its carbon footprint, and includes low-energy lighting, efficient lighting controls and reduced air loss through managed ventilation.
The project is on target to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, having recently received the design stage certification. BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method for buildings and is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings.
The constructors GB Building Solutions (GBBS) have installed both air source heat pumps and photovoltaic power generation in the new building to make the new police station as sustainable as possible.
At Christmas the project achieved the major milestone of becoming watertight.
Internally metal stud partition walls and plastering are nearing completion and the builders are installing mechanical and electrical equipment and raised computer flooring. Externally the tarmac and stone walling has begun with stone sourced in North Yorkshire. In total the project consists of 8,222 tonnes of concrete and 572 tonnes of steel.
It will provide working space for around 200 officers and staff, a sixteen-cell custody suite built to Home Office specifications, two prisoner vehicle docks and a separate reception area for members of the public.
From the start of the project, the constructors, have completed a bulk excavation of 20,000 cubic metres of soil. Every bit of this is being reused within 30 miles of the site, the top soil was reused on the site, the sub-soil was used on a nearby site and the rock that was excavated has been crushed for use as aggregate.
The construction company is employing as many local people as possible with over 50% of the contractors on site from Harrogate or the surrounding area. The local economy has also benefited with contractors using local hotels and guest houses, sandwich shops, cafes and restaurants.
Constructors GBBS are a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The latest site visit has resulted in an excellent score of 37 out of 40. Due, in part, to their close relationship with Harrogate charity Horticap, which is a horticultural based charity helping adults with learning disabilities.
GBBS and its sub-contractors have donated materials, including metal and timber waste from the site as well as providing building expertise to help with the construction of a new workshop facility.
Leaves from site and neighbouring areas are also given to the charity who can then turn into mulch and sell to raise more funds.
GBBS is using new software to monitor the levels of CO2 emissions from all the elements of the building including deliveries and all traffic movements associated with the site. These are measured against national benchmarks and used to reduce the amount of CO2 that GB is emitting from the site.
The company is also operating a park and ride service for contractors with a mini-bus to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions.
Purchase of the new site was completed on 21 February 2011.
Following the announcement of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, the Police Authority further scrutinised the financial implications of the project. After careful consideration and in the interest of long-term value for money, the Police Authority gave the go-ahead for the project to continue.