Survey casts doubts over police base use

Dromore PSNI station, in danger of closure � Edward Byrne Photography INBL10-273EB
Dromore PSNI station, in danger of closure � Edward Byrne Photography INBL10-273EB

A question-mark appears to hang over the proposed use of Dromore’s vacant former police station as a community asset.

The Leader understands plans to establish the former PSNI base as a hub to host local community groups have fallen foul of a survey identifying the need for major expenditure, not so much to buy the building as to address structural issues.

At a recent meeting of Banbridge District Council’s Leisure and Development Committee, Dromore Councillor Carol Black voiced disappointment at the outcome of an unspecified survey in respect of the former police station.

Community groups should be informed of the survey results, she said, to which end she proposed a meeting of community groups and Dromore councillors.

Again, it’s understood that meeting has since taken place.

At the earlier committee meeting Ms Black said she could not support a recommendation in respect of any of three potential alternative buildings if funding was not forthcoming from other sources.

Fellow Dromore Councillor, Paul Rankin, was likewise disappointed, he said, and he enquired if the money (presumably funds earmarked by council for buying the former police station) could be used to purchase an alternative building.

However, councillors were informed that such a move would be a change to the capital programme and therefore an issue for consideration by the shadow council (Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon).

Mr Rankin further suggested the council purchase the former police station and convert the site into a car-park.

Councillors were advised the site was within a conservation area. Ms Black asked council officers to investigate the conservation implications of the building.

Sinn Fein’s Councillor Paul Gribben suggested community groups meet instead in Dromore Town Hall.