Could town’s police station close after police admit it is ‘double the size needed’?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 May 2017

Burnham-on -Sea Police Station.

Burnham-on -Sea Police Station.

Archant

Burnham’s police station could be set to close after Avon and Somerset Constabulary admitted it is double the size the town’s police team needs.

Discussions have been ongoing for more than two years about the potential closure or downsizing of the station, in Burnham Road.

While police say alternative options are being explored, Burnham town councillor Phil Harvey told the Mercury the force has ‘clearly’ not found anywhere suitable, but said closing the station would be bad for the town.

He said: “I can totally understand when they say it is double the size they need.

“I have visited it and I know there are custody cells which are not able to be used, so that part of the building is completely useless to them.

“However, I think it would be regrettable if we had no police base as Burnham and Highbridge, not to mention Brean, all get a surge in population in the summer months.

“While it is not a crime-heavy area, there have been a lot more burglaries in recent times and the significant increase in people in the area means we need a police presence.”

Despite the long-term issues about the size and the location of the station, a police spokesman said it is still ‘early days’ in terms of any concrete plans.

They said: “We are looking for a new option for Burnham police station as our current building is double the size we need.

“We are currently consulting with stakeholders and looking at options, but discussions are in their early stages and we don’t have any dates yet.”

Cllr Harvey says he would like to see the plans move forward as quickly as possible, whatever they may be. He added: “The fact it has taken this long makes me think they have not found anywhere suitable but I hope it is finally resolved soon.”

This comes with Weston’s police station set to close in Walliscote Road, and be replaced by a team at the Town Hall and new response unit at Weston Gateway, which is close to the M5.

This was done to make officers more accessible to the public.

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