Westminster Labour has reacted with deep concern to the announcement that Boris’s Conservative Deputy London Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh has approved the sale of Paddington Green Police Station to Berkeley Homes, developers of neighbouring West End Green, without clear plans for what will replace it.
While such a property deal had always seemed likely, police chiefs had insisted that changes to police facilities should include a similar replacement either on that site or elsewhere in North Westminster. From information gained so far it seems that Deputy Mayor Greenhalgh has only committed to definite replacing Paddington Green Police Station with a ‘front counter and safer neighbourhoods team base’. While City Hall is recommending that space for a new base for the response units is found as part of this development or elsewhere in the area, no commitment has been made to ensuring that this happens. In the short term to medium term the cars and response team will be moved to Kilburn Police Station in Brent.
So despite previous claims to the contrary, Paddington Green is being sold off, with no plan for how to properly replace it. This sell-off follows the widely criticised closures of Harrow Road and St John’s Wood Police Stations, leaving north Westminster without a fully functioning police station.
Leader of Westminster Labour Group Adam Hug said
“It is shocking that City Hall Conservatives have decided to leave residents in north Westminster with such uncertainty about their future security. It is absolutely essential that the Met is able to find a new response base, either at as part of the Paddington Green development or elsewhere in north Westminster. When local residents call 999 in an emergency they need to be sure response units aren’t going to be stuck in traffic, travelling from Kilburn or even further, such as the bases in the West End. Westminster council must act, with the incoming Mayor, to fully replace Paddington Green Police Station.”