Essex Police Headquarters
Essex Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Essex and Chelmsford City Council are in talks to progress the future sale of the Headquarters site in Springfield, Chelmsford.
In October 2015, Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner announced plans to reduce the estate down from 80 to approximately 30 buildings and to sell the current Headquarters site.
To progress the sale of Headquarters, Essex Police and the OPCC have had preliminary talks with planners at Chelmsford City Council with a view to seeking outline planning permission for residential use of the Springfield site. Gaining planning permission will allow the site to be sold for the best possible price.
This money can then be used to fight and prevent crime more effectively and to create a new Headquarters which is fit for the needs of a modern police force and for the future.
Essex Police and the PCC are exploring the option of sharing accommodation with Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) at their Headquarters site in Kelvedon and are currently undertaking a feasibility study to this effect. If this option were to be viable the force would propose to use the site as its Headquarters, housing Chief Officers and some other teams.
Essex Police and the PCC are also currently exploring a number of sites to house a new operational policing and investigations centre. This would house specialist teams and replace the existing site at Boreham.
It is hoped that a preferred site for the new Headquarters and a new operational policing centre will be identified by winter.
Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “It is police officers out in our communities that prevent crime and keep people safe, not police buildings. I will continue to drive the modernisation of Essex Police stations and buildings, refurbishing key sites such as Southend police station, and closing and selling those buildings that are no longer suitable for our policing purposes.
“One of my key objectives is to ensure that any money raised through this process is used primarily to help deliver more local, accessible and visible policing, a priority in my new Police and Crime Plan. We propose to sell the existing Essex Police Headquarters site in Springfield, and are now in discussions with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service to explore opportunities to develop and expand their site in Kelvedon as a new Headquarters for Essex Police.”
Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin, of Essex Police’s Strategic Change Team, said: “Our current Headquarters is on a sprawling site made up of numerous ageing buildings that are in a poor state of repair.
“It is hugely costly to run and does not meet the needs of modern policing.
“Our proposed new Headquarters and operational policing centre will be modern, more efficient and greener and help officers tackle the challenges of increasingly sophisticated and new types of crime.
“We remain committed to ensuring that once we have any further significant updates that we will keep our staff, members of the public and our partners as up to date as possible.”
The current Headquarters site at Chelmsford is spread across 20-acres and is made up of numerous buildings, some of which are nearly 100-years-old, which no longer meet the needs of a modern police force.
The first part of the site was developed in 1903 and since then various additions have been built to house the 1,800 staff currently based there. Many of these additions are now in a poor state of repair.