POLICE INVESTMENT: Two new police stations to be built in Kirklees
Image: West Yorkshire Police
Two new 21st century police stations are to be built in Kirklees as part of a milestone investment in helping to keep communities safe and feeling safe in the district for years to come.
The major investment will see a new police station built in Dewsbury and another station built in Huddersfield town centre.
Both projects are subject to successful planning approvals, and represent a major renewal of the Kirklees police estate coming into line with other parts of West Yorkshire.
Both the force and the Office of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner can now officially announce that contracts have been exchanged for the purchase of the former Dewsbury college site on Halifax Road in Dewsbury for a new police station that includes a custody facility.
At the same time it has been confirmed they have purchased the former Nissan/Fiat site adjacent to Broadway to accommodate and deploy over 200 police officers and staff. These officers and staff make up the Huddersfield South Patrol and Neighbourhood Police Teams which currently deploy from Castlegate in Huddersfield.
The existing police stations on Castlegate in Huddersfield, and Aldams Road in Dewsbury will remain in full use while the new premises are developed and built. They will then be sold when staff and officers have been relocated into the new premises. It is currently projected the new Kirklees police stations in Dewsbury and Huddersfield will be operational prior to the end of 2024.
Police stations at Heckmondwike and Holmfirth, meanwhile, will remain in full use as bases for their neighbourhood policing teams.
Public Consultation with local residents, key stakeholders and the community will take place in advance of both the Planning Applications by the West Yorkshire Police Estates Team and the Dewsbury process will commence first.
Local residents will receive a letter in the coming days providing more detail on the plans and consultation.
Follow https://www.nineteen47.co.uk/consultation for artistic impressions of the proposed development and details of how the public consultation will be conducted considering COVID-19 restrictions.
Public consultation and the planning application process for the Huddersfield town centre development will be carried out independent from the Dewsbury process and will be initiated during 2021.
Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes, District Commander of Kirklees Police, said: “Extensive work has been underway for several years now to replace existing police buildings in Dewsbury and Huddersfield, both of which currently have operational limitations.
“The buildings are reaching the end of their operational and economic lives and would be equally, if not more, expensive to rebuild than they would be to replace.
“The announcement of this significant investment for policing in Kirklees is fantastic news for the District and will provide us with state-of-the-art new stations which will be based at the heart of communities.
“Our neighbourhood policing teams in particular are already firmly embedded in the communities they serve and will remain there, providing a visible presence and regular contact opportunities at locally accessible locations.”
She added: “Both sites were very carefully chosen after years of planning work, and we feel they offer the best locations available to us in terms of size, accessibility for residents, and also providing good access to the road network.
“What this investment will do is allow us to retain all the services we currently offer but develop them further, while bringing fresh investment into both towns.”
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns Williamson who has overall responsibility for the Force Estate said: “This is the culmination of many years and months of hard work with a determination to find the best possible options for the people of Kirklees, which will see the development of much needed modern-day policing facilities rooted at the very core of our communities in both Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
“The position we have now arrived at is one that will ensure a bright future, with buildings that will allow us to easily adapt to the changing needs of our communities, as well as police officers and staff.
“Not only will the construction sites be ideally located within the District’s infrastructure, but they will also lend themselves to future technological and operational advancements as the demands of modern policing evolve.
“It isn’t feasible to attempt to maintain or update the current buildings on these constrained sites that would no longer meet modern day policing requirements, and came with significant additional running costs.
“With the latest design and structural techniques, comes greater overall efficiencies and longer-term savings that will ultimately bring Kirklees District Police estates more into line with the other districts throughout West Yorkshire where estates modernisation has taken place.
“If planning approval is gained this will be a real step forward for many years to come for policing within Kirklees and West Yorkshire as a whole.”
The leader of Kirklees Council, Cllr Shabir Pandor, said: “I welcome the police’s plan to make such a major investment in both North and South Kirklees. The service needs state of the art equipment and facilities to keep our communities safe so it’s great news that they are planning to make these improvements which will benefit residents across the borough. The details will be subject to all the proper planning procedures but their commitment to our area is something we can all get behind.”
A spokesperson for Kirklees College said: “We are pleased to announce that West Yorkshire Police has acquired the college site on Halifax Road in Dewsbury.
“We are proud that this new location will offer an opportunity to improve and expand services to best serve our local community.”
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