The proposed plans are part of Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden’s ten-year plan to invest in critical infrastructure and deliver a more efficient and fit for purpose estate in line with Chief Constable Chris Rowley’s operational requirements to improve policing to our communities.
The current base at Saunders Lane is made up of numerous buildings, some of which are nearly 75 years old with the last investment in the construction of a new building taking place back in the 1990s. There is a large amount of estate from the 1960s and 70s that is at the end of its useable lifespan and most of the buildings at the site no longer meet the needs of a modern police force, in the digital and technologically enabled world we now operate in.
Local Residents and key stakeholders have been invited to view and comment on the proposed changes to buildings and landscape at Saunders Lane, and at the mounted and dogs base at Lindle Lane in Hutton.
The initial three phases of the programme will cost in the region of £75 million and take 4-5 years to complete and would see the site become more efficient and effective, reducing the number of buildings overall, and ensure that Lancashire Police has the support infrastructure needed to take the fight to criminals.
Announcing the proposals, Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said:
“The transformation of Lancashire Constabulary’s HQ site would be a landmark moment for policing and crime prevention here in Lancashire.
“Whilst we have seen a new station in Blackpool and a refurbishment of Skelmersdale, the poor current Constabulary infrastructure at both Saunders Lane and Lindle Lane is the result of decades of underinvestment going back to the 1990s.
“The proposed plans to redevelop the sites would enable the replacement of buildings that are no longer safe or fit for purpose for modern day policing. The proposals would allow improved security, training and future proofed fleet facilities.
“Investment into critical police infrastructure was announced as part of my Fighting Crime Plan to meet the future needs of operational policing. It will ensure that we can stay ahead of ever-changing demand, particularly in the areas of digital and cybercrime which continue to evolve at enormous pace.
“I am delivering more boots on the ground, funding an ASB problem solving team, more specialist equipment to beat criminals, expanding rural policing numbers, creating dedicated rape and sexual assault teams and urban task forces to take the fight to drug dealers and criminals in our area – but we will not fully deliver on my Fighting Crime Plan without the police having the right infrastructure to enable the most efficient, effective and cutting-edge ways of working.
“Combined with the Government police uplift programme, this will ensure that Lancashire Constabulary is a crime fighting force fit for the future.”
Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “The vast majority of buildings on both sites, whilst still operational, are no longer fit for purpose and haven’t been for quite some time. It is the right time to commit to the programme and ensure we have a safe and secure site that meets the needs of our staff and enables the delivery of exceptional policing to our communities.”
The development is based on a sustainable and responsible future-proofed design, developed to respond to the local area. As the site sits within a green belt, landscaping is also central to the scheme and would include new planting and wildlife areas.
Once a planning application is submitted to the Planning Authority, residents and neighbours close to the site will have further opportunities to submit their views as part of the usual planning application process.