Pleas are made to save police station from demolition

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THE historic home of Southsea police should made safe from the wrecking ball, a councillor has urged.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, who represents Portsmouth City Council’s Eastney and Craneswater ward, wants assurances the police station in Highland Road, Eastney, will not be demolished after its planned sale.

The 72-year-old building was earmarked for sale in a rationalisation of police stations announced after Simon Hayes became the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in 2012.

Cllr Stubbs said: ‘The building is iconic and quite a prominent one. I would like to see the main part of the building retained, but if it’s going to have any protection Mr Hayes has to put it into the conditions of sale.’

The station is now being used by the police’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team and it is not yet clear when the building will go on the market.

The building was built in 1932 and used as passenger transport offices as part of the Eastney tram and bus depot complex.

Cllr Stubbs said Mr Hayes’s office had written to him claiming the retention of the building would be a matter for the council, but he believed this was not the case.

Cllr Stubbs said that although the council wanted the building kept, it would not be able to prevent a developer from knocking it down.

He said: ‘It’s on the council’s local list, which means it’s the type of building we would like to see preserved.

‘But the council would be powerless to stop it from being demolished.’

Cllr Stubbs said inclusion on the ‘local list’ had not stopped buildings being knocked down in the past.

He said: ‘The Mayflower pub was pulled down in 2007 despite being a Thomas Ellis Owen building and despite being on the local list.

‘The sale documents must include a clause to make sure something similar doesn’t happen to the police station.’

Cllr Stubbs said an English Heritage listing could also prevent the building being demolished.

The building is brick with stone dressings and a stone doorway section and has columns and a prominent projecting clock.

Mr Hayes’s office was unable to comment when contacted yesterday by The News.

Cllr Stubbs said the police station included a large car park which could be developed without a problem.