Truro police "scrabbling around" for parking spaces at more than £20,000 a year
The relocation of Truro Police station has left the force “scrabbling around” for car park spaces that will cost more than £20,000 a year, it has emerged.
Devon and Cornwall Police has sold the Trafalgar roundabout site and is expected to move to Castle House on Pydar Street later this year.
But limited parking at the new site means they will have to rent additional parking spaces in a nearby public car park.
Both Devon and Cornwall Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner have refused to disclose how many parking spaces will be needed and at what cost.
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The West Briton understands the police are looking at renting an additional 15 spaces at approximately £1,500 each making a total cost of £22,500 a year.
Bert Biscoe, Truro City Council and Cornwall Council member, said: “They really have not thought it through. What we have is a relocation of a major public facility with the public body involved scrabbling around trying to figure out where they are going to park essential vehicles.
“Any relocation should have included that in the plan.”
Mr Biscoe also raised concerns about security at the new site and the impact of the move on police operations.
He said: “The issue here is about whether it’s right to shift the facility of operational policing from a station with a secure private parking compound to a back street in Truro.
“The police force has been stationed on that junction since the 1880s and it’s a nonsense to move it from the A road network.”
A spokesman for Tony Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We are happy that the cost of any additional parking spaces is small compared to the significant running cost savings achieved in moving to Pydar Street.”
But Mr Hogg’s spokesman refused to disclose what the cost of additional parking spaces was.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the move would save approximately £50,000 a year in running costs “after an adjustment being made for the cost of car parking spaces”.
However the police also refused to comment on what the cost was.
The police spokesman said the most important consideration was to have enough parking for marked police vehicles.
He said: “We have adequate parking for those operational vehicles at this site and we’re currently looking at a few options for a small number of additional parking spaces.
“Across the force area we’ve a number of facilities that are on the edge of towns and we recognise car parking is often a challenge. It isn’t unusual for us to look at taking additional parking spaces nearby.”
The police bought the new building, which is roughly half the size of the existing station, for £382,500 excluding taxes. The Trafalgar roundabout site was sold to Churchill Retirement Living who plan to build 56 retirement homes.