Police have been given the go-ahead to build a new ‘super-custody’ suite in Sheffield to replace three existing sites.
Sheffield Council planners have approved the £19 million facility on Shepcote Lane, Tinsley, which will be capable of housing up to 50 prisoners at a time.
It will act as a replacement for current South Yorkshire Police buildings in Sheffield city centre, Ecclesfield and Rotherham.
The suite, on land formerly home to a vehicle distribution firm, could potentially open in 2016.
It will also operate as a base for investigative officers and partner agencies.
Outline planning permission has also been granted for a property store to be built alongside the suite.
A report by Sheffield Council planning officers said: The benefits of the co- location of police facilities and the high levels of employment it would produce is a positive consideration.
“The proposal will also develop a site left vacant for a considerable period.”
The plans are part of the force’s efforts to save money – the force needs to save £42m by 2016, and has saved about £23m so far.
It is hoped the new site will provide annual savings of about £1.2m – mainly through a reduction in staffing.
When the plan was announced in July, Chief Superintendent Rob Odell said it was hoped the job cuts – mainly affecting custody sergeants and detention officers – could be achieved through ‘natural wastage’.
He said: “Our custody staff have one of the most challenging policing roles and I’m proud of their professionalism in dealing with difficult customers.
“Providing an integrated, modern custody building will give those staff a better working environment in which to manage high-risk situations and will help us to return officers to the streets at the earliest possible opportunity.”