The sale of Oakham police station is one step closer after the building was put on the market.
The building in Station Road is now on the open market after planning permission was granted to build a smaller office in the existing police car park.
The decision to sell the building was made in February last year as part of a wider review as Leicestershire Police tried to cut £20m from its budget by 2017.
Much of Oakham police station is unused and the sale of the building could save up to £70,000 a year. The new office will not have a front inquiry desk and people will have to visit a new desk at the Rutland County Council offices in Catmose, Oakham.
The new desk would be open 10am to 4pm on weekdays at the council’s reception desk, where a member of police staff will be on hand for the public.
Inquiry desks are used to report crimes, answer bail and hand in lost property.
Writing in her monthly blog, Rutland’s Inspector Lou Cardiner said: “The police station has been put up for sale now that planning permission has been granted to build a smaller police office on the car park at the rear of the building.
“The building, which is being sold on the open market, will not close until the new one is ready. The new building will be smaller and therefore cost less to run.
“Ultimately what this means is that there will still be local police officers based in Oakham.”
Last week Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader and chief constable Simon Cole revealed a new restructuring plan. The Government says the force needs to save a further £15.4m by 2016/17 and Mr Cole hopes to do this by replacing the existing 15 local policing units with eight neighbourhood policing areas, each commanded by an inspector.
The current basic command units covering Leicester and Leicestershire and Rutland will be replaced by a new local policing directorate led by a chief superintendent.
New dedicated investigation teams will working closely with neighbourhood teams. And the current arrangements of response officers will be changed, creating a smaller, single team based in local hubs, charged specifically with responding to emergency incidents throughout the force area.
Sir Clive said: “Everyone knows that times are hard in terms of public sector finances, and the force must continue to operate within ever reducing budgets.
“The chief constable and I have publicly said on many occasions in the last year that we have to save money, that we will have to lose a number of officers and staff, and that to achieve this we will need to transform how policing is delivered.
“The challenge for the chief constable has been to develop an operating model for local policing that costs less but which still delivers an excellent service and meets the priorities for policing set out in my police and crime plan. To be clear, the responsibility for how the plan is delivered lies with the chief constable and only with him.
“His team has now come up with a model which I believe not only meets the financial target but which will ensure the continuation of an effective and efficient service to local people.”
A previous version of this story said the police station sale was part of the most recent restructuring plans. We are happy to correct the error.