Challenge is planned to "incomprehensible decision"

 11/05/2018

​DURHAM’S chief constable says he plans to legally challenge an “incomprehensible decision” to declare the grounds of a former police station as a village green.
 
Durham Constabulary wants to sell its disused former station in Barnard Castle for housing and plough the money back into support for frontline policing, while opponents campaigned to have the grounds of the Bede Kirk site protected against development.
 
Today, members of Durham County Council’s Highways Committee overturned the recommendation of its own officers and voted to designate the grounds as a village green.
 
The decision effectively blocks any development of the site and leaves the police paying for the upkeep of the vacant building.
 
Mr Barton said: “To say I am dischuffed on behalf of people who need policing in Barnard Castle and rural parts of County Durham really is an understatement.
 
“It is clear to me that, to continue policing Barnard Castle and its many surrounding villages, I need the six-figure sum which the sale of this land would bring in to the public purse.
 
“Whitehall has stripped us of money since 2010 and it is a bit rich that a local issue has now done the same.
 
“This is a classic case of short-sighted nimbyism and an incomprehensible decision, which we will be challenging”.