‘Difficult and complicated’ – Questions over plans to find Fareham police a new home

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CARRYING out a long-planned closure of a police station is proving ‘complicated and difficult,’ it has been admitted.

Fareham police station is due to shut its doors for good in 2019, as part of a scheme of station sell-offs that has already made £48m for Hampshire police.

But the station is still in use since the closure date was confirmed in 2016.

Cells at the station have shut but office space is still being used by police officers.

Borough councillor Trevor Cartwright raised concerns during a Hampshire Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday in Winchester.

Cllr Cartwright, addressing police and crime commissioner Michael Lane, said: ‘Surely you must know what is going on in Fareham. Quite frankly I’m fed up, the public are fed up. We talk about communication – this is absolutely appalling.’

Panel members were quizzing Mr Lane at a quarterly meeting as he gave an update on the wider estates programme.

In response, Mr Lane said: ‘Searching for the right building in Fareham has been difficult and complex.’

He also said councillors and Fareham Borough Council had been kept up to date about the plans.

Cllr Cartwright said: ‘The last communication Fareham had was last August, nothing in the council since then.’

Mr Lane replied: ‘I think other views are available.’

After the meeting Mr Lane said finding the right building was not ‘quick or easy.’

There had been plans for the neighbourhood police to move into the civic offices with the borough council.

But the space was let out to the NHS after a failure to strike a deal in time.

Borough council leader Sean Woodward said he proposed Park Gate station could be used as a base for neighbourhood teams.

A smaller site could also be used in town.

Meanwhile, Mr Lane said he was ‘delighted’ that a police hub at Merlin Park, off Airport Service Road, in Portsmouth, is on schedule for next year.

The building, the county’s third investigation centre, had been due to open in April 2016.

As reported, Fratton and Portsmouth Central stations will then shut.