Residents have say on detailed Holbeck Police HQ plans at public meeting

Holbeck Police HQ site
The proposed site of the new Holbeck Police HQ

More than 20 local residents attended a public meeting at Elland Road last night as police unveiled their detailed plans for a new multi-million pound divisional headquarters and custody facility.

The meeting gave the community with the first opportunity to speak directly to the designers of the proposed scheme, view the detailed designs and provide comments on the plans for the old greyhound track.

The meeting was told by project manager David Ingham that a consortium led by construction company Interserve has been selected to design, build and operate the facilities, and that work could start in the summer, subject to planning permission being granted.

Mr Ingham said:

“This is your first chance to comment on the plans, but it’s not the last. We’ve submitted our detailed plans to the counbcil; and you can comment as part of the planning process, and we hope to hold another of these meetings in March to show how we’ve repsonded to some of the feedback we received tonight.”

Residents split up into three different workshops, looking at the design and building of the scheme and the ways the developer would be working.

One of the architects was also present. He said the three-storey building would be of the ‘highest quality’ aqnd would have ‘street presence’ without dominating the houses on the nearby Heaths. The building will be set even further away from the houses than detailed in the original outline planning permission.

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He said the materials used would be ‘of the highest quality’. A cafe will also be on-site, which could also be used by community groups. There will also be a roof garden. The view from houses behind it won’t be of a three storey building, more one-and-a-half as the development will be cut into hill.

Construction will take two years, with work carried out five days a week, probably 8am-5pm.

Residents seemed to be generally quite neutral over the plans, as long as disruption during the building time was minimised and that the impact of any increased traffic was minimal. Comments included:

“It is going to be better than what is there now. It is an eyesore at the moment, so anything that you do on that site will be an improvement. It looks good.”

“As long as it’s safe and secure and we’re not goign to have criminals running round our front gardens, it looks OK to me.”

“Everything needs to be contained and secure so we’re not going to have criminals running around our homes, but they seem to have thought of everything. Hopefully that will work in reality.”

“I’m worried about the construction. They’ve tried to assure me that they’re going to be repsonsible and you have to believe them. It’s key we’re not being disturbed at all hours by building such a big facility.”

Full details of the planning application can be found in the council’s planning portal.

What do you think? Have your say by posting a comment below.

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