A ‘for sale’ board has gone up outside Nailsea police station.
Commercial property consultants Hartnell Taylor Cook have been appointed sole agents to sell the 1970s built police station which sits on a 1.4 acres plot on the corner of Mizzymead Road and Stockway South.
However reassuringly Avon and Somerset Constabulary confirmed it is retaining a police presence in Nailsea.
Stations at Clevedon and Southmead and the roads policing unit base at Bourneville are also being advertised for sale by the Bristol property company.
It is part of the constabulary’s five year property sell-off or put more politely ‘estate stategy’ policy announced earlier this year.
The police will keep a public enquiry office at Nailsea which will be stay open 10am-6pm Monday to Friday and a 24/7 neighbourhood team but from 2015 their base will move elsewhere in the town.
North Somerset chief inspector Alex Cohen said: “I see the location of the neighbourhood team in the centre of Nailsea as absolutely critical to our ability to deliver a quality service to the public.
“We have already outlined our plans to streamline our service by providing smaller, more accessible policing bases in the heart of our communities, including Nailsea.
“We need to ensure that we get the best value for money for the taxpayer from the sale of our buildings.
“Early advertising of these building’s availability will help us achieve that.
“There is no intention to bring forward the date of the closure of the current Nailsea police station from 2015-16, or to close the station before a new base is available.”
The marketing process is likely to take some time as development options are being explored to allow the site to be sold with outline planning permission for development, a spokesman said.
Initial approaches to Crown Glass Shopping Centre for the team to move into ground floor shop were made but ‘nothing progressed’ said centre manager Charlotte Jarrett.
She said: “If we could home them within the shopping centre we would love to.”
Mr Cohen added: “We are also exploring an opportunity to co-locate with North Somerset Council in an easily accessible leisure facility.”
Police on the beat have been told not to talk about future plans and the management at Scotch Horn say they ‘know nothing’ about meetings with the district council on sharing accommodation at the leisure centre.
Earlier this year North Somerset Council forfeited £35,000 to end its lease on the old Social Services upstairs office at Collier's Walk.
This building has undergone a £250,000 facelift with new lifts and staircase and is now 95 per cent let to an accountants and chiropractor.
Apart from the Children’s Centre at Pound Lane the only other building in Nailsea managed by the district council is Youth House at the High Street.
It did use a semi-derelict leisure office next to the old health centre and library.
However, there have been no takers to buy, lease or rent this corner of Somersert Square owned by Weston College.
Two years ago Alder King was offering the former Weston College site at a guide price of £805,000 or rent at £70K per annum.
Many say it is because the price is ‘too expensive’ it remains empty.
Clevedon neighbourhood police team moved into the new North Somerset Council base at Castlewood in September last year as a cost in excess of £36,000 a year on a 10 year lease.
STATION SALE: To read the property marketing specifications from Hartnell, Taylor and Cook click on this image
The district council banked more than half a million from the sale of Four Oaks Infant School and is poised for another financial windfall when it leases a town centre car park to Waitrose.
Juniper Homes South West Ltd who developed the old Friendship pub site and the five-bed three storey homes at Fairways, Wraxall, bought the Victorian school and playground at Silver Street back in June for more than half a million.
Permission has been given to convert and extend the 19th century single storey stone school building into six to eight homes.
Selling off the family silver has netted North Somerset Council £550,000 from the sale of the Silver Street school and it is poised to collect more than £80,000 a year from Waitrose for lease of the Link Road car park.
All monies made from sales goes into the council’s general capital receipts supporting our capital programme, said a North Somerset Council spokesman.
A Waitrose spokesman: “We will be entering into a lease with North Somerset Council to manage the Link Road car park.
“This new arrangement will prevent the possibility of charges being introduced, and ensure that our customers and local residents continue to benefit from free parking.
“We also hope to complete improvements on the site, however a legal agreement is yet to be finalised."
District and town councillor Jeremy Blatchford said: “Facing a £102 million government grant cuts North Somerset is selling a closed, redundant professional development centre at Silver Street but I cannot confirm the price.
“Two North Somerset police stations are already in council buildings and there's another in a school.
“Co-locating saves money and increases efficiency.
“A major overhaul in North Somerset building strategy saw more than 20 separate offices closed, concentrating at Castlewood in Clevedon or the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare.
“This enabled hundreds of staff not to lose employment but merely work for others renting space from the council.
“This saved severance costs and pension deficit payments coming from council tax.
“The programme success has put an extra £1m in road repairs and fund overspends on protecting abused children.
“The deal with Waitrose will save the council tax payer rates and generate rent totalling about £82,000 each year.
“Nailsea Town Council wanted North Somerset to accept a one-off £50,000 sale price!”
Meanwhile the town council was forced to take out a loan to tidy up the old Glassworks site and could be landed with the maintenance of a sloping grassy knoll by Churchill Homes when it redevelops Sycamore House - watch this space...
Exclusive: £9m plans for Nailsea shopping centre
Co-ordinated plans to improve Nailsea town centre are set to move forward this autumn.
Ellandi, owners of the Crown Glass Shopping Centre have been working with a number of stakeholders to finalise a comprehensive scheme that will see £9m invested in a number initiatives across the town centre, creating more than 50 jobs.
The plans have been developed during a five year period and will provide significant improvements in the choice of shopping, catering and community facilities in Nailsea.
Shopper choice will be widened with a new Lidl store and a national coffee shop operator.
Community facilities will be enhanced with a refurbished children’s play area and better toilets and neglected areas of the town will be enlivened with the a single story 5,000 sq ft retail unit on the site of the former filling station, 30 retirement apartments the refurbishment of offices in Somerset Square and the gift of a community amenity area bordering Stockway South to the local authority.
New branding and signage has been developed for the scheme and there are comprehensive marketing and enlivenment proposals that will see regular family entertainment events and a repeat of the successful ‘win a shop’ initiative to help foster local retail entrepreneurs.
Crown Glass Centre Charlotte Jarrett said: "Put together, this package of proposals will see the biggest investment in Nailsea town centre for decades.
"The town centre retail offer will be anchored by two of the country’s most successful retailers Waitrose and Lidl and we are confident that vacancy rates will then fall further below the national average.
“With all of the additional improvements to the town centre I’m confident we will be able to bring more national names to the town as well as continue to foster our vibrant selection of local businesses such as Ewe Knit 20, The Blue Room and Burchills"
Ellandi investment director Mark Robinson said: "We have listened to some of the concerns that were voiced in respect of our initial proposals and hope that we have moved to address some of these.
“For example following a constructive dialogue with Nailsea Town Council we have been able to re-orient the Lidl store through 90 degrees to have less impact on Stockway South and there is now a reduction in fewer car parking spaces and it is important to stress that the car park improvements will improve access to the health centre for all of their users, especially the disabled."
Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: "The town council will formally consider the proposed developments as and when a planning application is submitted but it is clear they have listened and responded to concerns that were previously raised and were open to further constructive feedback.”
The nine million pound investment plans for Nailsea town centre include the following elements:
Churchill Retirement Living submitting a planning application for 30 retirement apartments; part of these proposals a community amenity area bordering Stockway South will be gifted to the local authority;
Rebranding and re-signing of the entire town in conjunction with Nailsea Town Council;
A planning application for a new single story 5,000 sq ft retail unit on the site of the former filling station. This site currently has planning permission for a more controversial three story mixed use scheme;
Refurbished public toilets;
A new Lidl store on part of the existing Crown Glass car park;
Additional highway improvements to Christchurch Close;
A complete refurbishment and provision of a new children’s play area on Clevedon Walk;
A new premium national coffee operator on Somerset Square;
Conversion of redundant office space to provide nine new homes within the town centre; and
Refurbishment of remaining offices of Somerset Square to provide more than 10,000 sq ft of modern offices, 75 per cent of which have already been pre-let.
A planning application has already been submitted by Churchill in respect of the Sycamore House, with proposals for the remainder of the master plan coming forward during September.
NEW BRANDING: The old 'unsmiling face' top is being replaced by new 'green' branding see below
CROWN GLASS: Below is an artist's impression of how the negliected space at the back of Boots could look and the proposed new layout