Adur District Council hopes to provide social housing at former Lancing police station

Adur District Council is hoping to purchase the former Lancing police station to provide social housing.

Lancing Police Station in 2013
Lancing Police Station in 2013

Councillor Carson Albury, executive member for customer services at Adur District Council, said negotiations had been underway with the police for several months over the possible purchase of the site.

The former police station in North Road was put on the market earlier this year and is listed for the price of £700,000.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Mr Albury said: “The planning is at the very early stages, we can’t do anything until the police make a decision on who they want to sell it to.”

He said there were ‘limits’ to what the council could offer, adding: “We are not exactly running in the money at the moment.”

But he said the council was hoping the police would be ‘community minded’ when considering the sale.

Situated in the centre of the village, it was an ‘ideal’ location for social housing, he added.

Members of Lancing and Sompting Liberal Democrats released a statement last month calling on the council to provide social housing on the site.

Doris Martin, chairman of the Lancing and Sompting Lib Dems, said: “We urge Adur District Council to pursue this objective vigorously.

“We believe it would be a major lost opportunity if the site is sold off into the private sector for flats.

“It seems to us that few suitable sites become available for a significant addition to the social housing stock and this opportunity needs to be grasped.”

But Mr Albury said: “As usual they are way behind the times.

“We have been negotiating with the owners for the past eight or nine months.”

He added: “Right now, Adur is in the middle of looking at all of its properties to see where we can do further building for social housing.”

Council plans to build 15 affordable council homes as part of a development in Albion Street, Southwick, would hopefully be considered by the planning committee in November, he said.

The site in Lancing is one of three former police stations currently being offered by SHW Development Consultancy.

A spokesman for the consultancy said: “Subject to planning consent, the sites would be ideal for a variety of uses including residential, office, care home or for the educational sector.

“These sites are ideal for development and are well located in their respective towns – we anticipate keen interest.”

Sussex Police said: “The police station was highlighted for disposal under the 2013-2018 Estates Strategy and was therefore closed.

“Sussex Police have been using a facility in Lancing Parish Hall since April 1 and there is a yellow phone on the outside of the building for direct contact to the police.”

The aim of the five-year Estates Strategy is to improve the accessibility of policing services for the public, provide flexible workplaces and achieve an overall reduction in estate assets and revenue costs, according to Sussex Police.

It involves redeveloping or reproviding some police stations.