Valley Girl saw this curious ad in the commercial property section of the News Shopper this week. I had no idea that Westcombe Park Police station was ‘former’ – last time I was round there there were still cars parked round the back – though I can see why it would be attractive to a developer for, presumably, the traditional apartment-building route.
The ad points out that it’s a period development (if memory serves, it’s about a hundred years old, the same age as the Park Row Police Station, trashed by the Luftwaffe in 1944) and that any development hinges on planning permission but that, on the bright side, the building is neither nationally nor locally listed so frankly, boys, it’s fair game.
In some respects I can understand this being made into flats. I mean it’s not like it’s been a ‘proper’ police station for years – it’s not somewhere the public could pop in to report a missing cat or a lost wallet to the local bobby. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen that front door open. And it’s in pretty poor nick. If someone was to take it on as what it is – a lovely building – and create it into decent, liveable flats, that’s progress.
I would be v. keen to keep the ‘police” trappings such as the carved name above the door, the phone box, the delightful flowering cherry (not partcularly police, but fab all the same) and the wonderful blue lamp (though I guess the blue ‘police’ bit would have to go – let’s hope they would replace it with some other coloured glass, preferably not red…) but remember – the sales pitch is very much ‘this is not listed, you can do what you like with it as long as you can get planning permission,’ which, of course means that the council refuses, it goes to appeal and Bristol pisses all over the council – Big Society in action – not that I’m bitter over the market or anything.
I can’t imagine that ‘extensive’ car park remaining as such. Why keep a facility when there’s profit to be made? There’s always the street. That’s nice and empty…
I guess that just how many flats they can shoehorn onto the car park footprint will be down to whether they’re allowed to build above the roofline or not.
I know. Let’s have a sweepstake to guess how many ‘luxury’ flats end up being built over the car park area. I’m going to be conservative and say twenty. Winner gets to be very smug indeed and say ‘I told you so.’