SOLIHULL Council has been slammed for not including a police station in it’s town centre blueprint plan for the future.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has criticised the council for failing to provide an alternative location to the Homer Road station in it’s masterplan for Solihull town centre.
He has also launched a campaign to keep a police station in the centre of Solihull.
Mr Jamieson highlighted the issue at the Policing and Crime Board meeting on Tuesday, December 15.
At the meeting Mr Jamieson said he had written to Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council but had yet to have a response.
“There will be a police station in the centre of Solihull regardless of his plan and I have asked him [Coun Courts] to come back to me to let me know what alternative he has to provide a police station because the masterplan shows no police station at all in central Solihull,” said Mr Jamieson.
An updated version of the masterplan, which provides a framework for investment and development in the town centre for the next 15 years, was revealed last month and approved at a council cabinet meeting on November 5.
The document says the vision for Solihull Police Station on Homer Road is for it to be replaced ‘with high quality office accommodation and new urban living opportunities’.
Mr Jamieson added: “It is remarkable that Solihull Council have published a plan that aims to demolish Solihull police station, without proposing an alternative location for the station in the town centre.
“This is inconsistency of the highest order. In public Solihull councillors are campaigning to keep the police station exactly where it is, at the same time as approving a masterplan that seeks to demolish it.”
The plan envisages the site having up to 65 residential units with office space in a bid to ‘diversify the town centre economy.’
In 2018 controversial proposals to sell off the Homer Road station as part of wider plans to save £5million and protect officer jobs across the West Midlands Police force were given the green light by Mr Jamieson who proposed having a smaller police station elsewhere in the town centre.
The plans to close and sell off Solihull Police Station have faced fierce opposition from residents, Solihull MP Julian Knight, and Jay Singh-Sohal, the Conservative PCC candidate.
In a letter to Mr Jamieson shared with Observer Council Leader Coun Ian Courts said: “Ultimately it is the Police and Crime Commissioner who can decide whether Solihull Police Station is retained.
“Your concerns can be allayed only by yourself taking the decision to retain and invest in Solihull Police Station’s future.
“Presumably, this Is something you are willing to commit to?”