Boys in blue turn green

The boys in blue are set to become the cops in green after they move into Norfolk's first purpose-built environmentally-friendly police station.Aylsham's new £700,000 police station will have a wind turbine, solar-powered air conditioning, air source heat pumps and a moss- covered roof.

The boys in blue are set to become the cops in green after they move into Norfolk's first purpose-built environmentally-friendly police station.

Aylsham's new £700,000 police station will have a wind turbine, solar-powered air conditioning, air source heat pumps and a moss- covered roof.

The hi-tech facilities mean constables will be able to wash with green-generated water, work on sun- powered computers and feel comfortable in their eco-friendly offices.

By making the Banningham Road building self-sufficient Norfolk Police hopes to save thousands of pounds in power bills while offering its officers and the community a modern forward-thinking building at the same time.

If the new station, which should be built by the end of the year, proves an economic and environmental success, then it could become a model for any new buildings the force wants to build in the county.

Lesley Jones, from the Norfolk Police Authority, said: “We believe that as a public body we should set an environmental example to people.

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“I think the plans for the building look fantastic and the authority is very keen to see this scheme extended across Norfolk.

“Aylsham's police station dates from the 1950s and is getting quite cramped now so we did need to update our facilities in the town.”

Norfolk Police recently opened two new stations in Harleston and Diss which did incorporate some green features and in another environmental push the force has experimented with using biofuels in its patrol cars.

Some of the technology for the Aylsham site has been imported from Scandinavian countries, which for many years have advocated incorporating green features into new homes and businesses.

Bruce Elson, business manager for north Norfolk police, said: “As a taxpayer myself I am delighted the public will get a low-cost purpose-built building which reflects the mounting concerns over the environment.”

Architects Chaplin Farrant, of Thorpe St Andrew, which drew up the plans for the green police station, said the scheme is the most innovative environmental project it has worked on.

The police authority is currently in discussion with third parties on how best to dispose of Aylsham's present police station on Gashouse Hill.

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