As the end of the era for one of town’s most iconic buildings draws ever closer, new plans have been submitted to use the site of the Wrexham police station to build a new custody suite for the nearby court.
Wrexham’s current breeze block police station, on the Bodhyfryd site, is due to be demolished this summer.
Work developing a new multi-million pound, state-of-the-art operational policing headquarters on the Llay Industrial Estate has been ongoing for over a year with staff expected to relocate there over the next few months.
A smaller police station is also bring created in the former Oriel Wrecsam, located next to the Wrexham Library.
There had been some confusion as to what could go on the site once the demolition is complete, with the Bodhyfryd area featuring as a prominent area in Wrexham Council’s Masterplan.
A number of concerns have also been raised – particularly by the town’s MP Ian Lucas – over the potential loss and relocation of the Magistrates Court once the police station has relocated.
Now an application submitted by Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to Wrexham Council details plans to build a new two-storey custody suite on the Bodhyfryd site.
The MOJ say that “in addition to allowing continuation of criminal case business, it will improve flexibility of service of the estate for future improvements” and that the “new cell complex will meet current MoJ standards and be capable to serve the existing magistrates courts”.
Details provided in the application’s design and access statement, continue onto say: “The existing cell facility in the police station will be de-commissioned in the summer of 2018 as North Wales Police will be relocating outside of Wrexham.
“Consequently a new custody suite is required on site to maintain Wrexham as a priority criminal justice site.
“In addition to allowing continuation of criminal case business, it will improve flexibility of service of the estate for future improvements. The new cell complex will meet current MoJ standards and be capable to serve the existing magistrates courts.
“The new access route from the new cell complex to the Court room entrance will be DDA compliant”
It adds: “As set out above a custody suite is essential to the operation of the Wrexham Law Courts. The closure of the adjacent police site has necessitated a new custody suite to be built within the existing Court site.
“As a secure access to the Court building must be maintained in the current position, this fixes the location of the new custody suite which is as shown on the application drawings.”
Parking provision for 12 vehicles and one disabled parking bay is also proposed for the site.
The application will be considered for approval at a later date.