A LANDMARK police station tower is set to be demolished as the force pushes ahead with relocation plans.
The police tower, which has been the North Wales Police (NWP) Wrexham headquarters since 1975, could be demolished in August 2016 – depending on if plans, which are out to public consultation and will be submitted to Wrexham Council's planning department, are approved.
The force displayed a public notice outside the building yesterday and confirmed plans to move the divisional headquarters to Llay Industrial Estate were “on course” for 2016.
Land in Llay was secured by NWP in October, but a planning application for the new headquarters is yet to be submitted to the local authority.
RSPB Cymru – a bird protection body – has raised concerns with the demolition plans, as a collection of peregrine falcons currently nest in the Wrexham tower.
The birds of prey, which tend to nest in tall buildings in towns or cities, are encouraged to move to the nearby St Giles Church, but currently remain in the police station tower.
The RSPB said the protection of the birds was “very important”, before any demolition takes place.
A NWP spokesman said: “The application to demolish the police divisional headquarters at Bodhyfryd, Wrexham, is out to public consultation and has yet to be submitted to the council.
“Plans are on course to relocate to new divisional headquarters on the Llay Industrial Estate in 2016 and the application, if approved, will allow the option for demolition work on the Bodhyfryd site to begin from August 2016. In addition to the new area headquarters North Wales Police will open a new police station in the town centre. The new facility will enable the Wrexham policing team including response, Police Community Support Officers, the neighbourhood team and a front counter service for the public, to remain in the town centre.
“The falcons are currently away due to the season, but when they return to Wrexham we will wait and see whether they nest at St Giles or at Bodhyfryd headquarters.”
Stephen Bladwell, RSPB Cymru biodiversity manager, said: “We are aware there are peregrine falcons nesting on tall buildings in Wrexham, including the police station.
“In the UK, all wild birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by law during the breeding season, and if this building were to be demolished no work would be able to take place between March and the end of July as this is the breeding season for peregrine falcons. An alternative nesting site, used before the police station, has now been improved with a new nest box, and we hope the birds will use this opportunity to make it their home in 2016.
“It’s not unusual to see these birds nesting in urban areas, and nest sites are becoming a more common sight on high-rise buildings across Britain, but it’s still very important to protect these species and their habitats and help them as much as we can.”
Ann Owen, benefice administrator at St Giles Church, said: “The falcons have visited us and hunted here, but as of yet they have not nested. We have put up nesting boxes and are encouraging the birds to nest here but as of yet they have not moved across.”
A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “We have received notice of the demolition application and it will now be subject to our full planning procedure.”