Approval of plans for a new $13 million Tweed-Byron police headquarters yesterday by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) has been welcomed by Tweed MP Geoff Provest as a ‘sensible compromise’ after years of trying to find a suitable site.
Northern region JRPP chair Garry West said the design for the three-storey building at 83 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads, met the amenity of the streetscape and added to the overall sense of security to the community.
Plans for an incorporated court complex within the command centre have been scrapped and work on the new station will start as soon as an old commercial building on the site is demolished.
The approval brings to an end a five-year quest to find a suitable site, with two other controversial sites previously rejected as inappropriate. One was the Kingscliff police station site and another on prime agricultural land at Cudgen.
Mr Provest said the project had seen ‘its share of setbacks and delays, with changes to both location and design, but now it’s time to get the work started’.
He said plans for a new police station went back to the time before he was elected in 2007 and he looked forward to seeing the first sod turned at the Wharf Street site.
Police minister Stuart Ayres says the new station will be a major boost to the Tweed community and ‘furthers our commitment to the northern region by providing an extra 60 police officers by May 2015’.
The new building will include 66 on-site car parking spaces.