NEW cells form part of plans for a major overhaul of Spalding Police Station, despite a current trial closure of the town’s custody suite.
Lincolnshire Police has included the new cells in its plans to build a first-storey extension to the station in Westlode Street, as well as expanding into the abandoned former Queensgate Hotel to provide more office space.
But, the force has been quick to clarify that submitting the plans does not indicate that a decision has yet been made on the future of cells at Spalding, which have been closed since the beginning of October as part of a three-month experiment.
Lincolnshire Police asset manager John Whitehead said: “Minor improvements could be made to the custody area depending on the outcome of the current custody service trials.”
Three separate planning applications have been submitted to South Holland District Council for the first-floor extension, alterations to the Queensgate Hotel, and also to relocate an on-site car wash which is no longer used to make way for more garage space and staff parking.
As well as creating more cells in the first-floor extension it is hoped that a number of internal alterations will be made to the existing police station to optimise the use of space and make it more user-friendly, as well as improve the space available to the Neighbourhood Policing teams.
At the same time, there would be a full refurbishment of the building to include new windows, doors, ceilings, flooring, total redecoration and a new lift to make the station more accessible, as well as improved security to prevent unauthorised access to the police station from the side of the Queensgate Hotel and a zebra crossing near to the car park.
If planning permission is granted, the former hotel would be remodelled to create more “modern, flexible, open plan” office and storage space for use by Spalding police, as well as additional rooms which could be rented out to “approved clients”.
The application also says the relocation of staff could enable Lincolnshire Police to “release/dispose of existing pooor performing assets”, although it is not clear what this refers to.