Cost of former police station plummets but council told to pay up now by PCC

Former police station

Former police station - Credit: Archant

Labour-run Ipswich council has clashed with Suffolk’s Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore over the sale of the former police station in Elm Street.

When it was built in the late 1960s, the former Ipswich County Borough agreed to buy it back if it ceased to be used as a police station.

Following its closure in June this year, that clause was activated.

Originally the borough and PCC agreed the cost – set by the District Valuer at £850,000 – could be paid in three instalments.

However the borough then received a solicitor’s letter from the PCC asking for it to be paid in one lump – as originally agreed in 1969.

This news was softened by the result of an appeal against the District Valuer’s figure for the building – which said that in the current market it was only worth £650,000, a £200,000 saving for the borough.

The council’s executive has now formally agreed to pay this sum to the PCC – and it will paid within the next few weeks.

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Borough leader David Ellesmere said it was not clear why the PCC had decided against taking the payment in instalments: “We are pleased that there has been a deduction in the cost we have to pay and we are now making the necessary arrangements.”

Mr Passmore said the delay over fixing the price for the former police station meant that the deadline for paying the first instalment – in June – had been missed and now that the amount to be paid had reduced, it made more sense to pay a single sum.

He said the reduced figure would not have an impact on his budget for the year because the sale had always been seen as an “extra” on top of the normal costs of running the police.

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