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Plans to move police HQ in Reading move step closer

Atlantic House. Picture credits: Tevye Markson, Local Democracy Reporter

Thames Valley Police (TVP) are edging closer to moving their Reading headquarters in the town centre to Atlantic House - which is near the Madejski Stadium.

Plans to move from the current Castle Street base next year are progressing, with a new proposal submitted to the council to add hundreds of new car parking spaces.

Outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Anthony Stansfeld said in September: “The move to a new location has become a necessity as the existing building is no longer fit for purpose and costly to maintain.”

When will the police leave the town centre?

Thames Valley Police has been seeking a move away from the existing Castle Street site since 2012, due to the deterioration of the building and high running costs.

TVP is now anticipating it will move to the new building in early 2021, after acquiring the new site last year.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) granted TVP planning permission to change the building from offices to a police base in September 2019.

The police have now applied to add another car parking level to the existing multi-storey car park, taking the number of parking spaces from 50 to 203.

They also want to:

  • Add a cycle storage shelter
  • Clad the car park, cycle storage shelter and security vehicle gates with materials to reduce the risk of unauthorised access and provide a visual deterrent to vandalism
  • Upgrade glazing on the ground floor

Plan for smaller town centre base

Although the headquarters will be moving to south Reading, the police still want to have a smaller town centre base for neighbourhood officers.

Efforts are being made to secure a site to provide intelligence from the town centre, with Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Civic Offices mooted as a potential location.

Mr Stansfield revealed in September the police and council had held a “productive meeting” on the plans.

A new TVP commissioner will be elected in May, with Matthew Barber (Conservative) and Laetisia Catherine Carter (Labour) standing for the role.

By Tevye Markson, Local Democracy Reporter

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