A bid to convert a former Northumberland police station into homes has been submitted.
Plans to create five supported living units in the disused building on Front Street, in Prudhoe, have been lodged with the county council.
An application to convert the police station into a veterinary surgery and the adjacent former office building into four supported living units was put forward in June and permission was granted last week (August 8).
But in the meantime, the applicant has submitted the new scheme for the five homes to replace the vets, which, if approved, would mean nine new supported living units in the town.
Police in Prudhoe moved into a new base at the Spetchells Centre last November and the former premises were put up for sale.
It followed a decision in 2014, amid swingeing budget cuts, to relocate police in a number of towns and villages in Northumberland into shared premises in community buildings.
When new bases were found, the former police stations were then put up for sale with the Force pledging that all savings made from the moves will be reinvested back into policing.
For example, last March, plans to convert Wooler’s former police station into a guesthouse were approved.
Neighbourhood officers had moved from the grade II-listed property, at 17 Church Street, into the Cheviot Centre in the summer of 2015.
In Seahouses, businessman Alan Haile converted the redundant police station on James Street into a funeral home after receiving planning permission in early 2016.
Officers are now based in the fire station, on Main Street, between the seaside village and North Sunderland.
And in Amble, the former police station on Leslie Drive is now a stained glass studio, in line with plans approved in August 2016, and home to Iona Art Glass.
The town’s police presence moved to the Fourways 2 building, but last June it was announced that there was no longer going to be a front-desk service.
This was ‘in response to a significant decline in the use of front offices’ with savings generated to be used ‘to support operational policing and invest in greater accessibility to the service we provide’.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service