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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 07:50 GMT
Force moves to ease cell shortage
Rickergate police station, Carlisle
The Rickergate station was damaged in the 2005 floods
Plans have been revealed to alleviate a "critical" shortage of police cells in north Cumbria.

Cumbria Police is already embroiled in a row over proposals to build a custody suite in the Houghton area of Carlisle.

Now the force has submitted another application for a police station and custody cells at Durranhill, in the east of Carlisle.

The force's existing station in Rickergate, Carlisle, was severely damaged in the January floods of 2005.

Hundreds of protestors mounted a campaign against the proposed cells in the suburb of Houghton.

An application was turned down, but the force is appealing the decision.

Now the police are looking at the former Rathbones bakery site in Carlisle, which the force has said could accommodate a new police station as well as the cells.

'Far from ideal'

Businesses and residents in Duranhill will be consulted.

Chief Constable Michael Baxter said: "Consultation with local residents and businesses is critical. It is proposed that consultation will be taken as soon as we can, and hopefully they can feel the benefits of a police presence in the area."

Police authority chair Reg Watson said: "The current custody facilities are far from ideal and it is essential that a long-term solution be found.

"Durranhill is in a good location especially being in close proximity to Carlisle city centre."

The temporary planning application at Rickergate and the appeal for planning at Houghton will continue to be pursued in tandem at least until the Durranhill application is resolved.

Need for police cells 'critical'
21 Dec 05 |  Cumbria
Police to appeal cells decision
21 Oct 05 |  Cumbria
Force moves to allay cells fears
17 Oct 05 |  Cumbria

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