22 April 2024

Little to no progress on Police Station for Salisbury

Current Police Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Philip Wilkinson has provided an update about a prospective Police Station for Salisbury on his own social media accounts.

Salisbury has been without a proper Police Station since the Wilton Road site was closed and sold ten years ago, with police setting up ‘temporary’ home in Wiltshire Council’s Bourne Hill Offices.

Mr Wilkinson first made it clear almost two years ago that a new purpose-built police station for Salisbury and South Wiltshire was one of his priorities—yet nothing concrete has happened.

In his latest statement, there is no real update. He confirms two locations are still being explored, but no firm plan is in place. He also states that ‘improving’ Bourne Hill is an option.

Locally, people are becoming frustrated on the subject.

John Bellis said on Facebook, “Your office has been talking about it for years. Let’s see action and not words. I think it’s an insult that you keep spouting the same old drivel. Having sold off almost all of the police estate in the south of the county, you have the nerve to refer to Gablecross and Melksham. What has this do with the south of Wiltshire.”

Andy Webb added, “Bourne Hill is not a Police Station, it is a Council owned building some of which the Police use.”

PCC Elections will take place on Thursday, May 2nd, with Philip Wilkinson (Conservative) standing for re-election. His opponents confirmed so far are:

Mike Rees (Independent), Alan Hagger (Liberal Democrats), Stanka Adamcova (Labour).

The statement said, “Shortly after I was elected the residents of Salisbury and the South of the county, and the officers in Bourne Hill police station made me aware of the inadequacies of Bourne Hill as a police station.

“I knew that finding a replacement site of 4 to 6 acres within the City ring road that did not upset local city centre residents, and for which we could get planning permission, was next to impossible; as has proven to be the case.

“Having consulted with residents at a meeting in the Guildhall, we expanded our search. Policing Swindon has not been adversely affected by being out of town in Gablecross, and for Melksham, the station and its custody suite are well to the south of the town.

“Two possible options have emerged for the south of the County: High Post and Old Sarum.

“High Post is attractive because it would be on an existing industrial site, have easy access to trunk roads and is mid-way between Salisbury, which is expanding northwards and Amesbury which is expanding southwards. It is out of Salisbury, but as we made it clear to those who would listen, we would maintain an easily accessible office in the city centre.

“The Old Sarum option, where 6 acres are available is much closer to Salisbury but has been the subject of complicated negotiations and is in a residential area, which will make gaining planning permission challenging for both ecological and power supply reasons.

“All options remain on the table however, including improving Bourne Hill. We will keep looking, and clearly when we do find another possible site, we will seek the views of our residents.

“But I suspect that wherever we find a site, there will be as many who oppose it, as support it.

“As I have discovered, everyone wants a police station but, will strongly object if we suggest it might be close to them.”

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns