‘Let’s fix our cop shop carbuncle’

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A leading councillor says Berkhamsted’s former police station looks like a ‘carbuncle’ and has demanded that plans to develop it are stepped up.

Ian Reay spoke out at an event for candidates standing to represent the town on Herts County Council after elections on May 2.

Mr Reay, the current county councillor for Berkhamsted, said the authority has offered to include the nearby library in plans to develop the police station area.

There are plans to use the two buildings and the area behind Berkhamsted Civic Centre to create a new public services quarter.

The former police station has now been empty for nearly two years.

Mr Reay said: “That site is a very important site right in the centre of the town and right in the centre of the conservation area.

“That particular building has been described as something of a carbuncle. I hope it can be improved.”

He was speaking at nearby pub The Kings Arms in an event hosted by community video company by DeeTV, but he told the audience that nothing should go ahead until after a ‘massive’ consultation process.

Mr Reay, who is standing for re-election next Thursday, later said: “I have not seen any proposals come out yet.

“It is going very, very slowly – which is very frustrating.”

Police say they expect to know whether the public services quarter project can go ahead within a few months.

Spokesman Annabel Maghie said: “We are looking at a very specific market and everyone is in the same position where they have to save money.”

She said police have not discounted putting the site of their former station on the open market.

But she said: “Our priority is to use it in a way that would give the people of Berkhamsted the maximum benefit possible.”