Police want £7.8m corporate HQ in Melton - but plans 'concern' commissioner Matthew Grove
POLICE are planning to spend £7.8m on a new corporate building in Melton.
Senior officers want to build a new home for operational and support staff, including the regional underwater search unit.
Newly elected Humberside police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove will have to approve the plans.
However, he said he was concerned about new buildings being constructed when many are partially used or empty.
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"I have significant reservations and concerns about this and it is something I will be looking at very quickly," he said.
"I have some problems with building something new when the area is peppered with empty office accommodation.
"I have very openly said I will be seeking to share functions and services with other public sector agencies."
Plans for the new building had been supported by Humberside Police Authority as part of the force's estates strategy.
A contractor has not yet been appointed.
A report submitted to the police authority described the building as a "property solution to accommodate and consolidate operational and support functions into a single corporate building central to the force geographic area".
It would also include a large area for police vehicles.
The force has already spent £30m on a new divisional headquarters in Clough Road, Hull, and more than £1m on a base for the Riverside neighbourhood team in Osborne Street, city centre, as part of its building plans.
Both stations will replace Queens Gardens police station.
The report adds: "The new corporate building is key to completing the first stage of the estate rationalisation and facilitates moves from congested sites such as Hessle police station and leased premises.
"It will also allow the full migration from Queens Gardens and, critically, will house the regional marine and underwater search unit.
"The specification of the site at the geographical fulcrum of the force is expected to improve operational efficiency while reducing overall running costs."
If the plans are approved, it is estimate work will start in February or March next year and will take eight months to complete.
Chief Constable Tim Hollis said: "Over a number of years, Humberside Police Authority worked closely with the force to develop our current estates strategy.
"The intention was to reduce the overall size of the police estate, to reduce the running costs of the estate and to ensure that force units were best placed to serve the whole of the Humberside area.
"The proposed development at Melton was part of that overall plan. It also has the potential to facilitate wider partnership working and the delivery of joint services with other agencies and forces in the Yorkshire and Humber Region.
"The new police and crime commissioner will have a key role to play in ensuring Humberside Police has an efficient estate that can serve the public in a cost-effective manner.
"I would expect him to look closely at all aspects of our estates strategy, including proposals for Melton, in the coming months and my team will ensure he is provided with all the information he needs to decide what's needed."