Custody Suite, Boston Police Station
G4S’ brief was absolutely clear cut – get a planning permission for a four cell extension to the Custody Suite at Boston Police Station within a time window dictated by the availability of temporary Police custody arrangements and the arrival of the new Home Office type approved cells on site.
We undertook to submit a detailed planning application within 4 weeks of appointment with the target of G4S being granted permission within a further 8 weeks.
With no leeway within the programme we had to immediately address several significant challenges linked to the location of the Custody extension and Boston Police Station as a whole. Key to this was ensuring that everyone involved in the planning process understood the time constraints, the Police’s operational requirements and our willingness to find genuine solutions to problems or policy issues that arose. The main issues facing the project were that; the location of the extra cells was determined by the location of the Custody suite at the rear of the Police Station which also marks the boundary of the Boston Town Centre Conservation Area; The nearest neighbouring buildings are Grade ii Listed; the site occupies an area of known archaeological interest; and just in case this was all too easy, part of it is in a rapid inundation flood zone.
To make sure that we didn’t ‘hide our light under a bushel’ we were also co-opted onto the Police project team so that there was no confusion about the expectations of either our client or the Lincolnshire Police.
We established early discussions with the case officer at the Planning Authority, who gave us very constructive advice throughout the project. Discussions and photographic evidence overcame concerns about the conservation impact, while discussion with the Environment Agency and access to the Lincolnshire Police flood evacuation strategy allowed us to satisfy issues of flood risk. The remaining problem of archaeology was resolved by commissioning LincsLabs to carry out deformation tests on the car park surface which showed that the extension could be supported on above ground footings with no archaeological disturbance. It wasn’t all plain sailing but all of the consultees and the Planning Authority appreciated our straightforward approach and gave us constructive comment.
G4S got their planning permission with 10 days to spare and handed the site over to their contractors.
In their customer feedback G4S said “it was an absolute pleasure working with Russell and the Globe Team. I was responsible for initially commissioning their services for this and other projects from a short list of 5. It was definitely one of my better decisions in life”.