Sadness as council ignores 2,000 signature police station petition

Petition to save the old Police Station in Aylesbury is handed to Martin Tett from Karl Vaughan
Petition to save the old Police Station in Aylesbury is handed to Martin Tett from Karl Vaughan

A petition signed by over 2,000 people calling for a rethink on the demolition of Aylesbury’s old police station has made no difference.

Bucks County Council will still go ahead and demolish part of the building to make way for a car park, as part of it’s multi-million pound Waterside North Scheme.

The historic site, which is where Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs was taken after being arrested, could have been used as a high-end nightspot, under plans drawn up by campaigners.

But the council is sticking to its guns, and issued a draft response to campaigners this week.

George Entecott, who was part of the campaign, said: “The demolition was started by the time we realised what was planned.

“We have now learned to take better notice of the planning announcements, it’s the only albeit limited chance we have to get a say. If that actually helps at all, the council just ignore people.

“Why ask did they ask me to get more signatures knowing they would ignore us anyhow?”

The letter to the petitioners reads: “The scheme has been tested to ensure that is offers value to the tax payers of Buckinghamshire as well as providing the desired regeneration to Aylesbury in particular.

“Options to retain the ex-Thames Valley Police Station have been considered but do not perform as well as the preferred option on either count and would also prevent the later redevelopment of the site as shown on the Masterplan.

“I know that there is little I can do to persuade you that the course of action that the council is following is the correct one in relation to the ex-Thames Valley Police Station, however I’m confident that having seen the works that the council is carrying out to renovate and breathe new life into County Hall, in the Market Square, the Porter’s Lodge, together with the plans for Old County Offices and the ex Thames Valley Police Headquarters you will understand why we feel that we are doing our best to preserve the best of the heritage within Aylesbury whilst trying to make it a more pleasant a prosperous place to live.”

And historian Karl Vaughan, who was also involved with the campaign said that the Conservative council’s unwillingness to take notice of the petition might affect people’s attitudes at the election.

He said: “This is not unexpected, they have given it a few weeks then told us that nothing has changed, it’s the same old speil as before.

“I thought they would have a proper meeting after the petition was presented, because it has 2,000 signatures but they haven’t, I don’t know what I can do but everyone is really disappointed.

“I think they have made the wrong decision and it is so petty, I’m sure people will kick up a fuss.”

He added: “You never know, at the election people might vote with their feet, but we’ve had Conservative here for many years. But then again, the building is still standing so never say never.”