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Anger over plans to turn old Portslade police station into houses
Furious residents are “outraged and heartbroken” after failing to stop plans to redevelop an old police station.
The old station in St Andrew's Road in Portslade has been earmarked by Brighton and Hove City Council to be developed into social housing with planning permission and funding already in place.
Residents and ward councillors had been hoping to persuade the council to halt the redevelopment plans and allow the community to come up with funding for the building to be used as a heritage site, or possibly a museum.
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A petition in support of the campaign gained 172 signatures and at a meeting on Thursday Amanda Scales, who has led the efforts to save the old building, presented her case directly to Green council leader Jason Kitcat.
But she was left fuming after the council leader, who chairs the policy and resource committee, took less than three minutes to dismiss her argument and confirm the building had been identified for development.
Speaking to The Argus after the meeting, she said: “Everybody around there is really passionate and is pulling together and striving to make Portslade a nice place to live and to be dismissed like that, I'm outraged and heartbroken. “All I was asking for was a consultation and to be given consideration that we could find funding.
“We've been denied an opportunity to have a say over what goes on in our community.
“I'm almost speechless how they could just dismiss it.
“People are very upset about this.
“He has denied us, and lots of other Portslade residents the chance to have something wonderful in their community. I'm heartbroken for the building. I'd rather they left it alone than redevelop it.”
The former police station, which was built in the early 20th century and is owned by the city council, has not been used as a station since the 1950s.
After concerns were raised about the redevelopment council officers were asked to look at how viable the building would be as a museum.
The report concluded that while it was in a poor state, many items of historic interest remained intact.
It made particular reference to the police cells, which have remained untouched and in good condition.
Alan Robins, Labour councillor for South Portslade, said the decision highlighted the council's bias to city centre projects and accused the council leader of ignoring the views of residents.
He said: “You feel that what they're saying is that Portslade is a place where people can go to sleep but if they want culture then they need to go to Brighton city centre. We can blow £36 million to stick a tower up because it's in Brighton.”
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