THE PSNI has said it will consider “any proposal” with a community-based focus for the derelict Castlederg police station.
In response to a question from SDLP councillor, Steven Edwards, Superintendent John McCaughan from the Chief Constable’s office confirmed that whilst there are no specific plans for the town-centre base, police are open to suggestions.
Previously identified for disposal, the Derg police station was one of three across the North confirmed to have been retained pre-Brexit, along with stations in Aughnacloy and Warrenpoint.
“The former PSNI station in Castlederg town is a complete eyesore for the town and needs to be put into use, preferably within the community,” Cllr Edwards said this week.
“The PSNI originally put the site up for sale, backtracked due to Brexit and it has been left now in a bad state of disrepair since. It is an eyesore for the local community as it sits abandoned at the very heart of the town.
“Following raising this issue, I asked that the PSNI to consider utilising the site for community use. I am glad that they’ve given a commitment that this will be considered as they plan to dispose of the site.
“There is massive potential to utilise the site for community betterment. Such as having a civic building, youth service provision and there’s potential even for developing local business and commerce. All of these, importantly, would create much needed jobs in the local area.”
Responding to Cllr’s Edwards missive, Superintendent John McCaughan said the future of the local station remains constantly under review.
“We regularly assess our resources to ensure we are equipped as well as possible to keep people safe,” he stated. “In 2018, because of the uncertainty around EU Exit, we looked at the decisions that had been made about Castlederg station and decided to pause the disposal. Since then we have continued to review those decisions and to discuss how we can best support the communities in those areas. We shall continue to keep the future of the station under review and consider any proposal through the lens of any potential community use of the site, especially given its strategic position in the town.”