Sussex Police could have to move out of Brighton Police Station because it is too expensive to repair the building.

Coastal winds are dislodging metal panels at the station at John Street, leaving 74 defects last year and a possible £2.5 million repair bill.

Members of Sussex Police Authority - the panel of councillors and independent people who oversee the running of the force - have asked for advice on whether it would be more cost-effective to move out and sell the building.

Consultants have recommended metal cladding and windows be replaced, to modernise the building and improve heat insulation.

The cladding was added to the building about 20 years ago to protect it from rain but panels are frequently dislodged by strong winds.

Sussex Police finance director Mark Baker said the total costs could reach £2.5 million at a meeting of the authority's resources scrutiny committee.

Councillor Steve Waight, the chairman of the authority and a Conservative member of West Sussex County Council, said he wanted advice from officials about whether the police station was worth the money.

He said: “I think it would be wise to look at the future of that police station as a whole before committing a very large amount of public money.”

Green councillor Ben Duncan, of Brighton and Hove City Council, said he doubted if there were any alternative sites in the city but said the sort of buildings needed by police in the past might not be necessary today.

Members agreed to ask for a more detailed plan including options for the future of the building, with a decision due when next year's budget is decided.

The debate comes as the force plans to close stations in Hove, central Eastbourne and Durrington in Worthing under cost-cutting plans.

Sussex Police declined to comment further on the issue.