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Estate issues behind push for new policing hub in south Wiltshire

A 2021 review concluded that the Bourne Hill facility officers in Salisbury share with Wiltshire Council is not adequate for modern day policing.

Fresh plans have been submitted for a new policing hub in south Wiltshire as efforts continue to upgrade a facility that hasn't met the force's needs for a number of years.

In September 2021, Wiltshire Police starting reviewing its estate in Salisbury and the south of the county at the request of the then newly-elected PCC Philip Wilkinson.

Suitability concerns had been raised by both senior leaders within the force and residents encountered during the election campaign.

This review found that the Bourne Hill facility, which officers have been sharing with Wiltshire Council colleagues since 2014, is not fit for purpose.

A planning statement accompanying the latest proposal reads: 'Wiltshire Police have several specific requirements such as; basic policing actions (briefings, interviews and investigations), provision of confidential spaces, storage space and flexible space (to allow them to change to meet operational requirements).

'Such requirements have directly informed their need to have at least a 1.2 acre site plus space for car parking.'

The proposed site, on land adjacent to High Post Business Park in Salisbury, was selected after other potentials were ruled out for various reasons.

A previous application was refused in June on the grounds that the development would negatively affect the landscape.

Wiltshire remains in special measures having entered the 'engaged' process in July 2022. Last month PCC Wilkinson predicted the force will have exited this process by next March.

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