Corsham Police Station site recommended for housing despite local opposition

Corsham Police Station

PCC Angus Macpherson, who is currently recovering after a heart attack last month

First published in Corsham
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Corsham’s Police Station could soon be sold off for housing, despite 70 per cent of public respondents to consultation opposing the move.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson set up a public consultation into the proposed sale of the building last month, as the town’s police prepare to move to the new Springfield Campus.

Most of the consultation's 27 replies opposed the sale for housing, citing the impact on traffic and potential for parking issues.

However the Commissioner’s Monitoring Board, which has considered the survey following Mr Macpherson’s recent heart attack, has confirmed it will still recommend the Priory Street site be sold to a residential developer.

Mr Macpherson will still make the final decision on his return to work.

A spokesman from the commissioner’s office said: “More than 70 per cent of respondents raised concerns about the existing parking problems in the immediate area and the impact which they believed development of the site would have.

"Many of the responses indicated a preference for commercial use of the site on the basis that this was less likely to cause more parking problems, though some comments also mentioned the benefit to the local community of new business.

“The CMB will recommend to the Commissioner when he is back in the office that the preferred buyer for Corsham Police Station should be the bidder offering the best purchase price for an unconditional bid. In this case the preferred buyer will be a residential developer.

“This recommendation does not accord with the preference of the majority of respondents.

“However the CMB members felt that the respondents had identified concerns about land use that would better be considered by the planning authority when a planning application is submitted by the would-be developer.”

Priory Street resident Claire Moore campaigned against a residential development, and criticised the scope of the consultation.

She said: “I was hoping for a much bigger response.

“Everybody seems to be saying the same thing, they were more in favour of a commercial bid, but I think they have had it earmarked for housing all along.

“People in Corsham weren’t properly informed of what was going on, so it was left to local residents, and so a proper response hasn’t come forward.”

A summary of all the comments received can be seen at www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk/Take-Part/Consulting-you.aspx

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