Hopes fade for police move

HOPES that Ipswich's main police station could move next to council offices near the Portman Road football ground are fading today.The police were expected to announce they would build a new headquarters for the town on the site of the Ipswich Buses depot in Constantine Road when that company moves to its new headquarters off Hadleigh Road in 2007.

HOPES that Ipswich's main police station could move next to council offices near the Portman Road football ground are fading today.

The police were expected to announce they would build a new headquarters for the town on the site of the Ipswich Buses depot in Constantine Road when that company moves to its new headquarters off Hadleigh Road in 2007.

However the police have now been advised by the Environment Agency not to move to a site on a flood plain after an investigation into the disastrous floods in Carlisle last Christmas.

Last winter heavy rain caused serious flooding in the Cumbrian city, and among the buildings badly affected was the main police station which was built on a flood plain.


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Now after an inquiry into the floods, emergency services have been advised not to build offices on flood plains.

Ipswich Village is the flood plain for the River Orwell - although it has not flooded seriously since the Wet Dock opened in Victorian times.

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But that was also the case in Carlisle before last winter's floods and the advice from environmental experts has prompted a change of thought.

Now police sources claim they are seriously considering remaining in their current police station in Elm Street - although that will need a new electricity supply, heating system, and communications tower to be installed.

At present it relies on the Civic Centre for these services but that is due to be demolished after the council moves out next summer.

And with the current uncertainty over the future shape of the police service with the government planning to amalgamate small forces like Suffolk into regional forces, the prospect of remaining in its current location is attractive.

However that could pose problems for borough council attempts to sell the Civic Centre site which has attracted interest from retailer Waitrose.

The site would be considerably smaller if the police station remains in place.

A police spokeswoman said: “As local people will be aware, the constabulary is looking for a new police station to replace the current Ipswich police station, which dates back to the 1960s.

“The project board overseeing this work continues to examine sites in the Ipswich area for the proposed station.

“At this stage, there has been no final decision about the location of the new station. This decision rests with the Police authority and will be announced once it has been made.”

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