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Old Sussex police box up for auction
It is only one storey high and compact but experts think this old police box could fetch a six-figure sum.
Auctioneers say the red brick building in Manor Road, Hurstpierpoint, near Hassocks, could catch the interest of a creative-thinking developer.
Sussex Police Authority has decided to put the box up for sale as it tries to find £50 million of savings to balance the books.
Senior officers say the box should be sold because it is not financially viable. Police patrols will be found a new base in the village to work from.
Two police boxes in Brighton and Hove previously went under the hammer and fetched £163,000.
Other buildings being considered for sale include Slaugham Manor, the force’s training base, Sussex House in Crowhurst Road, the police headquarters at Lewes and its vehicle workshops at Astley House in Lewes.
Emma Attrell, the senior valuer at property auctioneers Clive Emson, said the Hurstpierpoint building would be “perfect for auction”.
She said: “We have sold quite a few public toilets and things at auction and people have turned them into properties or coffee shops.
“Buildings like this spark quite a lot of interest. It’s just a bit unusual. There are definitely commercial opportunities.
“People view it more as a project than a plot of land, you’ve got to open your imagination. It’s a bit of a challenge.”
Alex Mackay, from Mishon Mackay estate agents, said he expected the building to be razed and a new home put in its place.
He said: “I think the only use for it is residential. It’s of sub-standard construction and will have to be knocked down and rebuilt.
“It’s got a value of about £100,000 and a new house in that location will be worth about £325,000.
“It will be a shame to knock it down – I remember when it was in frequent use and the local bobby used to come into our office to have a natter. But that’s a bygone era.”
The box is one of three small bases which Sussex Police Authority has agreed to sell off, along with a police box in Southbourne, near Chichester, and a former road policing unit alongside the A23 at Hickstead, which is already on the market.
A police spokesman said: “All three buildings date back to a time when officers needed a base where they could make contact with their main offices and in more recent years where they could access force information and computer systems.
“Modern mobile technology has made them unnecessary.”