Police house to close for good

Kelvedon Hatch police house

Kelvedon Hatch police house

First published in News

LESS and less use of a police house in Kelvedon Hatch has brought about its closure.

The police house, in Ongar Road, will be sold off as Essex Police attempts to save money.

A review has been carried out over the past year to identify buildings which will not be needed under the force’s new operational policing model, known as the Blueprint.

It comes into effect in this month and is part of the police savings plan.

Essex Police has a large estate including more than 110 buildings. The review identified 18, including Kelvedon Hatch, which were suitable for disposal.

It has been suggested those properties are sold to release capital funds and save the force substantial costs, such as heating and maintenance.

Temporary assistant Chief Constable Julia Wortley said: “The Blueprint is designed to operate by having larger teams of police resources based in fewer locations, so this is an ideal opportunity to make some smart decisions about our estate.

“Put simply, lighting, heating and maintaining a building which is barely used is not the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

The building cannot be accessed by the public but has previously been used as a drop-in base for officers, and a store. However, from this month it will not be needed for either of those functions and has been classed as “non-essential”.

Richard North, chairman of Kelvedon Hatch Parish Council, said the building was offered to the parish council but at £250,000 to £300,000, the small authority could not afford it.

Mr North said: “The overall feeling was we would have loved to buy it, but we don’t have that sort of money.

“The closure has not been welcomed with open arms but it’s been closed for several years.

“It will be sad to see it go.”

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