POLICE have taken a big step forward to a new Stone base by lodging plans for the town council’s building.
The current Radford Street building has been the town’s police station for over a century, but in recent years it has become vastly under-used.
Staffordshire Police announced in 2011 that it planned to move out of the Radford Street station, but only when alternative premises had been secured.
This month the borough council, which owns the Station Road offices, received two planning applications from Staffordshire Police.
One is for external alterations including the installation of a help point, lighting and signage and internal alterations including doorways and internal walls. The second relates to two signs.
Stone Town councillors considered the plans at their meeting on Tuesday. They raised no objections to the alterations, but Councillor Philip Jones questioned the appearance of proposed police signage on the outside of the Station Road office, which is a Grade II listed building, dating back to the 18th century.
He said: “Outside the police station in Radford Street there is an Edwardian lamp with ‘police’ on. It is very tasteful and suitable to go on a listed building in a conservation area, rather than that bit of checkerboard modernism which would not look out of place in a concrete car park.”
Residents were first told in early 2012 that a move to Stone Town Council’s office building in Station Road was being considered, as the force looked to cut costs across the county by sharing buildings with other organisations.
Speaking at the public meeting about the Radford Street station, Chief Superintendent Jon Drake said: “It is a really large building, it has 21 rooms but at the moment we use four of them and as it is an old building it costs £50,000 a year to heat and light. And we are looking at another £50,000 to repair and maintain it.”