St Andrews Police to cop new station

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ST ANDREWS Police are set to cop a new headquarters in the town.

The current station in North Street has been earmarked for closure along with a recommendation that police services relocate to the former health centre in Pipeland Road.

A report to Fife Council’s police, fire and safety committee has condemned the current station as “no longer fit for purpose.”

It is also the only property owned by the force which does not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

The report, by temporary Chief Superintendent John Pow, went before the committee with a recommendation that work continues to relocate the station to enhance accessibility and service delivery and to realise financial and carbon efficiency savings.

Fife Police have committed themselves to providing facilities which are accessible to the public and fit for purpose in relation to long-term strategic plans as well as being economical and sustainable to operate.

The three-storey St Andrews building, dating back to 1905, does not meet these criteria and refurbishing it to an acceptable standard is deemed to be too expensive.

The report adds: “The building, electrical and water infrastructure all require significant upgrading and the station is not environmentally efficient with an energy rating of ‘G’ (Poor).

“The existing layout of the St Andrews building is considered ‘not fit for purpose’ for modern policing service delivery. It remains the only non-Disability Discrimination Act compliant public access property in the Force.

‘‘The three-tiered floors of the building are restrictive and cost prohibitive for meaningful refurbishment.

“NHS Fife has declared the former health centre at Pipeland Road as surplus to requirements and appropriate for disposal. Fife Council have no use for the property as a result of their wide-ranging rationalisation programme.

“Subject to ongoing contractual discussions between NHS Fife and Fife Council, the building has been offered to Fife Constabulary at no cost for use as a police station.”

The former health centre was built in the 1980s and has been identified as having the potential for a fully accessible and modern police station. The move would see the force relocate near to both the fire and ambulance services.

In order to maintain a presence in the town centre, discussions are ongoing with the council with a view to providing a public counter service at their offices at St Mary’s Place.

This would be backed up by a 24-hour public intercom facility connected directly to the police contact centre.

A budget of £100,000 has been allocated for urgent renovation work on the North Street station and the report says this would be sufficient to convert the Pipeland Road site.