Residents react with joy at plans for new police station in Newton Aycliffe town centre (From The Advertiser Series)
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Residents react with joy at plans for new police station in Newton Aycliffe town centre
RESIDENTS have reacted with delight to news that Newton Aycliffe will once again have a town centre police station.
Today (Wednesday, February 6), County Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg announced he had set aside £500,000 from his budget to knock down the old police station on Central Avenue and replace it with a smaller, purpose-built, facility.
The new station, which is expected to open within a year, will replace Parsons Court at Aycliffe Business Park as a base for Newton Ayliffe Neighbourhood Police Team and will include a front desk and car park.
The town has been without a central police base since February 2011 when the old station was declared unfit for purpose and the beat team was moved to Parsons Court.
And when budget cuts meant plans to build a new station had to be shelved, Great Aycliffe Residents Association (GARA) launched a campaign to re-establish a police presence in the town centre.
More than 1,000 people signed the petition.
Last year, proposals were put forward for the police to share counter facilities with the fire service, but the plans received a mixed reaction from residents, with many feeling this was inadequate for a town as big as Newton Aycliffe.
The latest news, however, has been welcomed wholeheartedly.
Arun Chandran, secretary of GARA, said: “This is the best and most welcome news we have had for a long time and I praise those who made the decision.
“This is what the residents in Newton Aycliffe wanted all along and the Great Aycliffe Residents Association lead the campaign.
“It is fantastic news one which will be fully appreciated by the public and GARA and I am sure the men and women in our police force themselves.”
Mr Hogg said the existing building would be demolished at the end of the year and the new station should open during the first half of next year, subject to planning permissions.
“This new police station will provide the same service as that provided from Parsons Court,” he said. “Crime in Newton Aycliffe is low and continues to fall and this new building will provide further reassurance to the public."