Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire Police spend £600k on empty Alpha Park office

The site in Alpha Park, Chandlers Ford
Image caption The police-owned property at Alpha Park has been unused since it was bought in 2008

More than £600,000 has been spent by Hampshire Police on a building which has stood empty for four years.

The force bought Alpha Park near Chandlers Ford in Eastleigh for £9.2m in 2008.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC has revealed an extra £638,379 has been spent keeping the building running since then.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said the site was bought in a "dramatically different economic climate".

Costs incurred by the police for the empty building include £260,000 on business rates, almost £300,000 on site security and £50,000 on repairs and maintenance.

The plan was to site the new Hampshire Police HQ at Alpha Park, however, the police authority said plans had to go on hold because of government spending cuts of 25% over four years.

'Not unreasonable'

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said the refurbishment of the building, which will now be used as an operational police campus, is to be completed by November 2014.

It will contain services including a vehicle workshop, force inquiry centre and the Information Technology department.

The spokeswoman said: "The Audit Commission scrutinised the police authority's decision to purchase Alpha Park and concluded the decision to buy Alpha Park was not unreasonable.

"During the period of economic change, feasibility studies were carried out to determine the best way of developing Alpha Park, to ensure it was cost effective.

"Our aim has always remained the same - to use Alpha Park in the best way to equip us as a police force to deliver excellent service to the public."

Hampshire Police have confirmed the purchase of Mottisfont Court in Winchester for £1.5m which will be used as their new headquarters.

Refurbishment work is due to start in 2013 with the completion date set for the end of 2013.

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