Anger over new police centre

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build a new investigation centre at the headquarters of Suffolk police have angered residents.The police force has applied to Suffolk Coastal Council for permission for a building with 24 cells, with the capacity to grow to 36, with waiting rooms, exercise yards, interview rooms, office, a surgery and facilities for the secure transit of people under arrest.

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build a new investigation centre at the headquarters of Suffolk police have angered residents.

The police force has applied to Suffolk Coastal Council for permission for a building with 24 cells, with the capacity to grow to 36, with waiting rooms, exercise yards, interview rooms, office, a surgery and facilities for the secure transit of people under arrest.

The new Police Investigation Centre will be a specialist unit to deal with detainees for an average of between six and seven hours and replaces custody cells spread throughout the county.

But Martlesham parish council has discussed the plans and councillors claimed the scheme was a “total over development” of the area.


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They were worried that the building would be too close to residential properties, particularly those in The Paddocks and Portal Avenue, and householders could be affected by extra noise and light pollution.

John Kelso, a district councillor for Martlesham, has attended a presentation about the scheme and he also has reservations.

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Mr Kelso said: “To construct the building will involve the removal of many trees and the creation of a new security fence as well as a car park for approximately 130 vehicles.

“The site is located adjacent to the cycle/footpath leading from the Tesco's underpass to Portal Avenue, just beyond the flats at The Paddocks.

“I am aware that many people use this route for walking or cycling and enjoy the scenery that may be lost to this development.”

The centre, to be built through a Private Finance Initiative, will be one of six in Suffolk and Norfolk.

A Suffolk police spokesman said the creation of a new Police Investigation Centre at Martlesham Heath would create a purpose built, specialist unit to deal with detainees in a facility able to meet the demands of policing in the 21st century.

“The application for outline planning permission is underway and we will await the decision from Suffolk Coastal District Council.”

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