once eyed 
by council 
up for sale

THE site of a former police station, once earmarked as the new multi-million pound home of a Yorkshire council, has been put on the market for £1.9m.

Harrogate Borough Council’s controversial move to the site was aborted after the building was listed by English Heritage.

The authority is now trying to find alternative premises for the long-awaited centralisation of its services as it bids to streamline operations and alleviate pressure on its beleaguered finances.

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The £12.4m plans to sell the historic Crescent Gardens, which would be transformed into a boutique hotel, along with four other council buildings, to move on to a newly-built premises at the old police station in North Park Road sparked widespread opposition since being agreed.

But the plans to move to the police station were abandoned after it emerged that a bid put forward by English Heritage for the former North Yorkshire Police premises to be Grade II listed had been approved by the Government.

Concerns have been expressed by opposition councillors about the escalating costs of the
proposed move while the authority is battling to save money
amid the Government’s austerity drive.

The former police station, which has a guide price of £1.9m, is to be sold by public auction on February 26 at an event at the Leeds United Football Club, in Elland Road.

It is being sold by Pugh and Company in partnership with The Auction People, Newton-Le-Willows.

A spokeswoman for the council said there was “no development yet” in plans to find an alternative site.

The property is described as “a vacant two storey former police station with extensions to the rear set in landscaped grounds together with rear car parking area and a detached former three bedroom house to the rear also.”

Earlier, the leader of the council, Coun Anthony Alton said it had taken independent advice in 2011 which concluded it was very likely the buildings would not warrant statutory listing.