STALYBRIDGE’S derelict police station may finally be brought down soon as it is the centre of an ‘exciting development’.
Concerns were raised the Corporation Street building – the centre of many worries as it stood empty – was being left to rack and ruin.
Windows were removed and early demolition work ground to a halt, leaving the site accessible to squatters with only a fence surrounding it in part.
Those worries were not allayed when the company tasked with bringing the building down told The Correspondent: “We are not commencing until later on this year. The reason is unknown and lies with the client.”
However, this newspaper has learned work ceased because early remedial projects were completed – and a revised planning application for 24 apartments is being made.
Watson Homes, the housing group which will manage the conversion of the station, detailed exactly why there had been no sign of progress.
Rob Watson, of the firm which acquired the site, said: “We completed the soft strip and asbestos removal last year to allow for remaining surveys etc to be completed.
“From this we are finalising our planning application with the view to submitting the application during the course of January.”
Planning permission exists for development of the site. However, these updated plans have a view to workmen being on site in summer.
That did not stop the structure being shown in an ‘exploring’ video online as one ‘explorer’ went in.
Watson Homes worked with Tameside Council to secure an allocation from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Brownfield Homes Fund to support the development of the project.
And a spokesman for the authority said: “Plans to develop the town centre brownfield site of the former Stalybridge Police Station into 24 apartments are on track.
“The site is now in the hands of a private developer and they will be taking the development through the due processes, including planning.
“In the meantime, some initial works were undertaken to make the site safe. Subject to planning approval, demolition is expected to take place in the spring.
“This is an exciting development and regeneration project for Stalybridge and a huge step forward in realising our vision for the town.”
Stalybridge police station has laid empty since 2005 and one plan to turn it into 18 apartments in was believed to have fallen by the wayside.
The Correspondent revealed Tameside Council was ready to act by serving notice on its owner in a bid to finally get work done on it.
It has also featured in an online ‘exploring’ video, which revealed the shells of former offices, broken windows, wires hanging from the ceiling and a small yard where prisoners could walk around.
Several of the cell doors remain locked shut but Stalybridge South councillor Liam Billington said: “It is in a great location to be turned into a nice set of apartments, particularly with the river nearby.”