The Ripon police station site could be sold off to a property developer in plans approved by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
As part of a strategy looking at properties ownedby the force, the North Street station has been identified as a “disposal opportunity” and talks are under way with an unnamed developer who has an option on land to the rear of the police station.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Julia Mulligan said:“The police station in Ripon has been identified in the Estates Strategy as a potential disposal opportunity for a number of years, and we are currently working with a developer for the disposal of the station, subject to certain conditions.
“The developer who we are looking to sell to is in a unique position and has the opportunity to develop land behind the police station, which could only be reached over our site.”
Because of the stage of the negotiations, the PCC’s office is not naming the developer due to reasons of confidentiality but Mrs Mulligan moved to assure residents of Ripon that the city would keep a police presence, and that possible sites for a new police base were being explored.
She said: “Whether or not the sale goes through, we fully intend to retain a policing presence in Ripon and are currently investigating options for a new facility.”
In July 2011, front counter opening hours at the Ripon station were slashed by almost half as the North Yorkshire force battled with a funding shortfall of up to £20m.
The front counter had been open to the public from 8am - 8pm including weekends but the 2011 measures saw the end of opening at the weekend, with the Monday to Friday times reduced to 8.30am- 5pm – an overall reduction of 41.5 hours’ opening time, or 49.4 per cent.
According to the North Yorkshire Police website, the front counter now opens at 9am Mondayto Friday – equating to a further 2.5 hours being shaved off the front counter opening times since the 2011 measures.