Police HQ plans are behind schedule

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PROPOSALS TO move North Yorkshire Police’s new headquarters to a purpose-built base near Thirsk are four or five months behind schedule, it has emerged.

Police commissioner Julia Mulligan last year announced plans to save £455,000 a year by moving the force from its base in a converted stately home at Newby Wiske, near Northallerton, to a field in South Kilvington.

But a new report updating local councillors says there has been “a delay in the acquisition of the site due to additional preplanning and due diligence work”, meaning “the project is currently 4/5 months behind the original schedule”.

It added that the “original key project milestone” of completing the project by December 2016 was now not achievable.

Police say the site is “well located in terms of its size, its access to the highways network and its central position within North Yorkshire Police’s operating area”.

Plans also incorporate a new ten-cell custody suite, which could replace the district’s dated eight-cell suite at Northallerton Police Station.

The report said that prior to submitting a planning application, a traffic survey has been done and work carried out to sewerage, drainage and potential flooding issues. Two options have been found to provide parking for nearby South Kilvington school.

It says a potential alternative site has been found adjacent to Thirsk Auction Mart, but that the costs of upgrading the A19 could be prohibitive.