Backing given to plan for town’s former police station

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:00 28 February 2018

Saffron Walden Police Station. Picture: SaffronPhoto

Saffron Walden Police Station. Picture: SaffronPhoto

SaffronPhoto 2016

Plans to convert Saffron Walden’s Grade-II listed former police station into three houses and build four houses in the place of former police offices have been approved by the district council.

The two existing police houses on the site will be demolished and the converted police building will be extended.

Vehicle access from East Street will be removed, with the existing access off Common Hill leading to a rear parking area under new cantilevered gardens.

Architect Ian Abrams said the plans had been designed to be in-keeping with the appearance of the listed building, including red brick and traditional chimney stacks.

With no objections to the plans, Essex Police said it believed it was well-designed project which is sympathetic to its heritage nature.

Saffron Walden Town Council had no objections but expressed concern about the impact of the development on the street scene of East Street and said the new residential properties should ‘seek to be an integral part of the existing street scene with minimal disruption to the current view and vista of East Street’.

At the planning committee hearing last Wednesday (February 14), Councillor Richard Freeman pointed out that the building of four houses in the place of two former offices blocked off any view of the common for houses on the other side and for pedestrians walking through.

He also pointed out the building was in a conservation area and mentioned the potential of added air pollution.

Councillor Paul Fairhurst said: “We all feel sore about losing the police station but the fact it is being reused, we would support that. The other [four] houses on the other side, I’m not so sure.”

The application was approved with five councillors for and five against and chairman Councillor Alan Mills making the casting vote.

A second application for listed building consent to make various internal and external alterations to the former police building was deferred until the next planning committee following concerns that the conservation officer had not filed a formal report.

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