Police have confirmed that Ripon’s police station is to be sold for retirement homes - with a new station pledged for the city within 18 months.
A “conditional contract” has now been signed to sell North Yorkshire Police’s current North Street base, the authority has confirmed.
And while it has not confirmed where in the city a new base would be, a spokesman has said options are already under consideration.
“Although the address might be different, our commitment to maintaining an operational police base in Ripon is as strong as ever,” said Chief Constable Dave Jones, reassuring residents that officers will still be based in the city. “With a buyer for North Street in place, we can concentrate on finding the right premises to move into.
“We are looking forward to securing our new home in the town over the coming months.”
Police will move to a new base within 18 months, a statement from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has said.
Contracts were signed on Friday (October 3) with property development company CFK Developments working with McCarthy & Stone.
This national company hopes to redevelop the site on North Street with “high-quality” retirement accommodation, subject to planning permission.
And if the proposals are approval, NYP has said, it will move its Ripon police station facility to new premises elsewhere in the city.
Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan, said: “I need to make sure that North Yorkshire Police has facilities that are fit-for-purpose for the future, which means disposing of some sites and moving some facilities to new premises that are better suited to our needs.
“The decision to dispose of the land and buildings at North Street has been in place for some time as part of our long-term estates strategy, so I am very pleased that we have signed this contract and can progress according to plan.”
The plans were first revealed by the Ripon Gazette in August last year.
It was reported then that, as part of a strategy looking at properties owned by North Yorkshire Police, Ripon’s base had been identified as a “disposal opportunity”.
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 12 hours a day, including weekends, but the 2011 measures saw the end of weekend opening, with office opening slashed by 41.5 hours’ opening time, or 49.4 per cent.