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Police under fire for letting war building decay
A listed building which played a crucial role in World War II has fallen into disrepair at the hands of Sussex Police.
The former transmitter station and Cold War bunker at Kingstanding, near Crowborough, is regarded as historically very important.
Nicknamed the Aspidistra it was one of the most powerful radio transmitters at the time of the Second World War.
It was crucial in drowning out German transmissions and even allowed the Allies to broadcast propaganda messages to the German people.
But while the bunker part is in good condition the other section of the building has been allowed to deteriorate.
A report on the force’s assets reveals the building needs money to be spent on it urgently just to keep out the wind and the rain.
Officers have drawn up basic plans to replace its roof and make it watertight and the force is looking for consultants to take on the project.
However, they have not yet determined how much it would cost to transform the inside of the building so it can be used by the force.
A Sussex Police report says: “There is no specific usage planned or identified for the building and it could be suitable to be used as an exhibits store.”
A force spokesman said: “As indicated, the building is Grade II listed and as such, Sussex Police as the owner has an obligation to undertake the necessary work to maintain it.”
A second site at Kingstanding, known as building two, also needs to be improved.
That building is used to train riot officers but has also been allowed to decay.
The report said: “Over a period of time the building has shown some substantial cracking, which is now raising serious concerns.”
English Heritage confirmed that the building was given Grade II status in 2007.
A spokeswoman last night told The Argus that it was East Sussex County Council’s responsibility to maintain the structures.
If Sussex Police does not repair the building the council could order it to act or do the work itself and bill the force for the cost.
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