A police boss has hailed the decision to give the go-ahead for a new town centre police station in Wrexham as a major step forward for 21st century policing.
It will be based at the former Oriel Wrecsam art gallery which will converted for the purpose and will include a front counter for members of the public who want to go there.
The decision had been delayed by Wrexham County Borough Council for a few weeks over concerns about disabled parking which have now been resolved.
Planning permission had already been granted for a new £13.5m eco-friendly divisional headquarters in Llay which will have a 32-cell custody suite, solar panels on the roof and energy saving LED lighting.
The building is designed to be energy efficient and able to operate at its optimum for 24 hours a day.
According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC, Wrexham’s current main police station in the town centre is antiquated and no longer fit for purpose, with an out of date custody suite and uneconomical energy use.
He said: “I took over responsibility for the police estate after I was elected in 2012 and oversee the strategy for delivering an appropriate infrastructure for the police service of North Wales.
“I am pleased that planning permission has now also been granted for the new town centre police station, particularly as the concerns in relation to concerns over disabled parking have been addressed.
“It is excellent news because it will help us provided the 21st century policing the Wrexham area deserves.
“With plans to create a new custody suite in Llay, it is also important North Wales Police maintain a visible and accessible presence in the town centre, including a front counter for members of the public
“The old Wrexham police station is well past its sell-by date and is totally uneconomical in terms of its energy use while the custody suite there is not fit for purpose and is not compliant with Home Office guidelines.
“This decision follows on from the planning permission given to the new, divisional headquarters in Llay which will include a state-of-the-art custody suite.
“By building a new modern police station on a new site at Llay as well as maintaining an important presence in the town centre through a new smaller police station the force will make better economical use of its budget.”