Homes plan for former police station

Sgt Colin Travi of Kidlington Police and Cllr Maurice Billington cut the ribbon for the opening of the new front counter at Thames Valley Police headquarters

Sgt Colin Travi of Kidlington Police and Cllr Maurice Billington cut the ribbon for the opening of the new front counter at Thames Valley Police headquarters Buy this photo

First published in News

PLANS have been unveiled to knock down Kidlington’s closed police station for two houses and six flats.

The Oxford Road police station has closed as part of a property savings drive by Thames Valley Police.

Front counter services have moved to the force’s nearby HQ, although one parish councillor said he was concerned some residents would not know where it was.

Lucy Properties has applied to Cherwell District Council for planning permission at the old police station site.

The village is growing ahead of the opening of a new train station at Water Eaton next summer, next to the existing park-and-ride bus service. This is part of Chiltern Railway plans to link Oxford and London Marylebone via Bicester.

Lucy wants to build two semi-detached three- and four-bed homes and six, two-bed flats.

It said: “Kidlington has good bus connections to Oxford and the surrounding area, the site is within a mile of the park-and-ride and can take full advantage of the new train station when this goes ahead.”

It added: “The proposal is within walking distance of the village centre and there are a variety of public houses and restaurants, as well as public library, sports halls/ activities, gyms and supermarkets.”

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The application says the plot “is ideal for flats as it’s in a residential area on a prominent corner which is less viable for family housing.”

Last March the force announced seven stations will move to new locations to save £839,000.

These were Oxford’s Wood Farm, Blackbird Leys, Barton and Rose Hill; Wantage; Thame and Wallingford.

The Kidlington closure aims to save £26,300 with services were transferred to the HQ less than a quarter of a mile away on February 24.

The force said the front counter will open an extra 25 hours a week, from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, compared to 10am to 2pm before.

Services at the new front counter include reporting road collisions, presenting driving documents, and reporting lost and stolen property.

It was officially opened on Monday by village county and district councillor Maurice Billington.

Kidlington Parish Council chairman David Betts said: “We fought hard not to lose the police station. Nobody knows the HQ is there.

“I have no problem with residential development there, it is alongside other residential development, but it is a real pity we have lost the police station.”

In 2009, pensioner Graham Hall from Kidlington called at TVP headquarters in the village after he had been burgled, hoping to find help, but off-duty officers were preparing for a poker night and passed him a slip of paper with a number to call.

Chief Insp Kath Lowe said: “It’s not uncommon for us to get members of the public going to the Kidlington HQ South to report crimes. In the past they would have been directed to the police station down the road.

“People see the sign for Police HQ, think that is where police officers are and assume that’s where they should report crime. Now it is. It makes sense.

“It’s much easier and a much more obvious location.”

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