Housing plans unveiled for former Beccles Police Station site

Beccles Police StationPHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles Police StationPHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Plans to put apartments and houses in a former police station have prompted concerns from the town's mayor.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw is the new Mayor of Beccles.Picture: Nick Butcher

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw is the new Mayor of Beccles.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Architects Chaplin Farrant Ltd have submitted a planning application on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary for the former Beccles Police Station, which has been closed to the public for more than two years.

The plans set out a development of 11 homes in total - nine flats within the former building and two new-build houses.

The houses would be built in place to two existing garages, with the application seeks to demolish to make way for them.

The application is seeking outline permission, with exact specifics of the two new builds to be determined at the reserved matters stage - should the proposals receive the approval of Waveney District Council.

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The project's design and access statement says: 'The proposals seek to retain the existing buildings, converting them into residential apartments and therefore maintaining the existing character and street scene to London Road.

'The new building element within the site would see the existing, low quality garages being removed and replaced with a new semi-detached dwelling.'

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Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, mayor of Beccles, said she was concerned about the building no longer being used as a community asset.

She said: 'I would have preferred it to remain a police station or at least a building that can be used by the public.

'It might be a case of not realising what you have until it is gone and you do hear of community assets being sold at a fraction of what they should be and it would break my heart if this happened here.'

The station, on London Road, was one of 15 Suffolk stations closed to the public in April 2016, with it continuing to operate without front desk services after this date.

However, it has since been made available for sale, after it was agreed Beccles Fire Station would be used as a shared base between the town's fire and police services.

Expansion work to the site, on Ravensmere, got under way in January, in a scheme costing around £800,000.

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