Parish council steps in to buy building and offer police officers a base in the village for the next 15 years.

Braunton Parish Council has stepped in to save the village’s police station from the axe.

The station was one of five in North Devon earmarked for closure but the council has now agreed to buy the building in the Caen Street for £85,000.

Chairman Derrick Spear said it would provide the police with a ‘neutral cost’ rental for at least 15 years.

“It was the council’s ambition to retain a police presence in the Braunton community and we are delighted that we were able to embark on this joint venture which will secure a police presence for at least the next 15 years,” said Mr Spear.

The agreement will provide police with office space, an interview room, lockers and two parking spaces.

The remaining part of the building could be used for a ‘work hub’ or community café but the council said it would be carrying out a feasibility study and consulting with the community before any decisions were made.

In October last year, the Gazette revealed that police stations in Braunton, Ilfracombe, Holsworthy, Torrington and Pilton are set to close in the next three years in a bid to save more than £1million a year.

The closures would see officers moving to smaller cost-effective facilities or shared buildings in their communities.