Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Commissioner reveals plans to sell unused Alpha Park

Hampshire and Isle of Wight police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes
Image caption Simon Hayes has revealed plans for two new police investigation centres in Basingstoke and Hampshire

A building that has stood empty for almost five years after being bought as a new headquarters for Hampshire Constabulary is to be sold.

Alpha Park near Eastleigh was bought for £9.6m in 2008 after the force's West Hill headquarters in Winchester was deemed not fit for purpose.

The force has since spent £1.836m on Alpha Park. But the estimated cost of refurbishing the site is £15.75m.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said both sites would be sold.

'Soap opera'

John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman branded the money spent on Alpha Park "disgraceful".

He added: "The only positive that's come out of this is that Simon Hayes has actually made a decision.

"That's got to be seen as a good thing because the soap opera that is Alpha Park has gone on for far too long and cost the tax payers of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight far too much money."

Image caption The police-owned property at Alpha Park has been unused since it was bought in 2008

The sale of Alpha Park forms part of a new force estates strategy unveiled six months after Mr Hayes was elected.

It comes as Hampshire police battles to save £54m by April 2015 due to government spending cuts.

Mr Hayes said: "Today is about a new direction and building the right foundations for the future.

"That means getting rid of back office buildings that we don't need and investing in new facilities and partnerships that will help us to make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer places. "

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: "Having the right buildings is key to a more effective and efficient police force - one that puts victims, witnesses and the community at the heart of policing."

The force's headquarters is still to move to nearby Mottisfont Court in Winchester city centre.

Police investigation centres will be built in Basingstoke and Portsmouth for short term custody provision and to help speed up the processing of suspects

The force will continue working with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and councils on alternative bases for some officers and staff including libraries and fire stations.

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