THE city’s new police custody unit will be on the site of the old engine sheds close to the railway station, it has been confirmed.
The decision will be reported to Wiltshire Council’s Salisbury area board by Inspector Andy Noble tonight.
Following a feasibility study, architects have begun drawing up possible designs for the site, currently accessed from Cherry Orchard Lane.
Police are anxious to stress that there will be a full public consultation process before any planning application is submitted.
They say: “Current indicative timelines are working to the unit being built by the end of 2015.”
Decommissioning of the Wilton Road police station, which will become a university technical college – a specialist secondary school – is “on course”, according to Mr Noble’s report, with teams due to move out throughout June.
The front counter dealing with the public will go to the council offices in Bourne Hill, where neighbourhood police and detectives will also be based.
Emergency response cars will work from Amesbury. Once work on the new community campus at Five Rivers Leisure Centre is completed, neighbourhood and response teams will be based there.
A public meeting will be held at the City Hall on Monday, May 19 to tell people more about the arrangements.
It will be attended by the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, below, as well as representatives of the Wiltshire force, the council and the university technical college.
Asked what will happen to the remainder of the engine sheds site, which the Salisbury Vision has in mind for rail commuter parking, a spokesman for the commiss i o n e r said that was “up to Wiltshire Council”.
* THE size of the bill for the new custody suite is not yet clear.
A spokesman for the Commissioner said: “Work is currently taking place on confirming the cost.”
The Wilton Road police station has been independently valued at £2million.
Wiltshire Council will pay this sum to the Commissioner on completion of contracts and the money will be used to fund the police station at Five Rivers and the custody suite.
Asked whether the Commissioner was confident this would be enough, the spokesman said: “If Wiltshire Police had decided to stay at Wilton Road, extensive work would have been required on the existing custody unit to meet Home Office guidelines.
“Funds had been set aside to finance this work. It is expected now that these funds and the capital receipt will be used to finance the new unit.”
Asked how much money had been set aside, to give an indication of the total cost of the new custody suite, the spokesman replied: “We do not have anything to add at this stage.”
The deal between police and council does not include the police houses which occupy 3.8 hectares to the rear of the site.
“No decision has been taken about that part of the site,” said the spokesman.
It would be “against the public interest” to disclose the valuation put on that land “because, should we decide to sell that part of the site rather than use it, we would be seeking offers”.