Plans to relocate Barnstaple police station have moved forward after proposals for its new premises were approved by North Devon Council.
The council’s planning committee unanimously approved a change of use for the former Barum Auto Parts building in Seven Brethren for use as a new station on Wednesday (June 10).
The new station is intended as a temporary facility while the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Devon and Cornwall Police explore options for a new operating base for North Devon.
The change of use is in place until the end of June 2025.
Police are having to move out of their existing station at North Walk after it was decided that repairing the deteriorating roof was not financially viable.
The Seven Brethren station will be an operational patrol base, with desk space for up to 154 staff, interview rooms, meeting rooms and a front office.
A self-contained custody unit will be within the site with a secure perimeter fence.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said the £2million scheme would ensure residents will have the police resources they require.
She said: “The fact that our estates team has managed to get this project from the drawing board to planning approval in just a few weeks is testament to an incredible amount of work by them, the policing team in North Devon and partners.
“I’m particularly grateful to North Devon councillors and officers for bringing forward this vital project so swiftly, and to all those who helped with the search for new premises.
“This represents a vital step forward and part of a £2m investment to ensure that residents of North Devon have the policing resources that they require.”
The approval was moved by Councillor Joe Tucker and seconded by Councillor David Knight, who said: “I think it’s vital to resolve this situation, and as it is only a temporary measure with no other solution, we have to support the recommendation of approval.”
North and West Devon Superintendent Toby Davies said: “This is excellent news – both for officers and staff based in North Devon and our communities, especially as it has been achieved in such short timescales.
“The base at Seven Brethren includes a public enquiry office which will mean that we can continue to have a strong and visible presence in the town and surrounding areas.
“We continue to work closely with the OPCC to look at viable options for a more permanent base.”