Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones rejects calls to stop sale of Lymington station
ATTEMPTS by a conservation group to stop the sale of Lymington's former police station to a retirement housing developer have failed.
Hampshire's police and crime commissioner Donna Jones has rejected calls by the Lymington Society, which argued the "wishes of the community should be taken into account".
Churchill Retirement Living is seeking permission to tear down the Southampton Road facility and build 32 apartments: a plan which has proved controversial.
The society appealed directly to PCC Donna Jones, saying that as a “custodian of this public asset” she should stipulate that any purchaser must “prioritise the delivery of family and affordable housing”.
PCC Jones said she would not be agreeing to the society’s request.
“It would have cost significant amounts of money to bring the old Lymington police station up to date, and a modern policing hub is now in place in the town,” she said.
“Pending the outcome of Churchill’s appeal, the contract of sale is still in force and I am unable to amend it.
“I understand the society’s concerns about the site’s future use and rely on the planning authorities to ensure that applications are approved with the views of the local community in mind.”
As reported in the A&T, Churchill’s plan was met with widespread opposition, including a petition signed by more than 1,000 people.
Many critics believe Lymington already has enough retirement housing and should be providing homes for young families.
While the application was rejected by New Forest District Council’s planning committee, Churchill has appealed that decision, which prompted a public inquiry.
That has taken place and was overseen by a government inspector, who is yet to announce their decision.