Five police stations in North Devon could close in the next three years with officers moving to smaller buildings in their communities. Pilton, Ilfracombe, Braunton, Holsworthy and Torrington have been named in a statement released today (Thursday) by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. It stressed the communities involved would not lose their police presence but would lead to the building of smaller, more cost effective facilities, or see police teams sharing facilities with other services. One example is Ilfracombe where the police are looking at moving into the fire station building. The relocations are planned as Devon and Cornwall Police tries to make savings of £29million in its budget and it is suggested the closures could save more than £1m a year.Clear and transparentAndrew White, chief executive for the PCC, said they were confident the plans would have little effect on operational policing, adding: Both the commissioner and chief constable are clear - given the choice they always prefer to spend money on police officers rather than bricks and mortar. For some months we have been considering how best to reduce our estate, to reduce costs and create income whilst still maintaining an effective base for operational policing. We had hoped to undertake local communications at each location before making this announcement but, as staff at certain locations are being informed of plans, it was fair and transparent to publish the full list. The commissioner has spoken openly about plans to mitigate the next wave of Government cuts and how savings could be made. Until recently the plans were based on us having to make £29m worth of savings but we are now expected to make an additional £25m savings bringing the total to £54m.Budget challengesChief Constable Shaun Sawyer said the force faced challenging budget reductions set by the government and the need to reduce its workforce over the next four years. It is only right we review our estates and only keep those buildings that are not in need of significant modernisation and those needed to ensure we can continue to deliver a professional police service, he said. We are planning for the future by dispensing with buildings which are costly in terms of maintenance while investing in newer and more efficient premises where needed. We are not removing ourselves from our communities, we are being more efficient and organised around where we base our people to ensure we continue to deliver the best service we can. Police officers and staff solve crime and keep our communities safe, not buildings.