Dungiven police station could be about to lose some of its “unwelcome” fortifications with speculation mounting that the imposing sangar could be removed, while the fortress style gates may be replaced.
An announcement is due shortly that the station, which opens just a handful of hours each month, will close permanently.
The ‘Journal’ understands the station is being cleared out in readiness for the imminent closure.
However, at a policing committee meeting this week, it was revealed changes to the physical appearance of the station are being considered.
Sinn Fein councillor, and chair of the Policing Community Safety Partnership, Brenda Chivers said of the possible developments: “It’s great news because it’s an eyesore the way it is now, and hopefully it won’t be long before it’s handed over and in community ownership.”
SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle agreed the changes were a step in the right direction and branded the imposing sanger and fortress style gates as “unwelcome in this day and age”.
“It’s good to see the vacated station will not turn out like the station in Bellaghy, which became dilapidated,” he said.
Limavady Borough Council is looking at the site next to the station as a possible location for providing sports and community facilities.
The station, when closed, may well go on the open market, with a price tag of around £150,000, but it might also be up for grabs for government departments who may argue they have use for it and “that would include Limavady Council,” said Colr. Coyle, who added: “The area commander was interested to find out if there was a strong feeling about whether the building should be demolished or left intact”.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “The matter has been discussed with the PCSP. The Area Commander intends to meet with the Chief Executive of the Council to discuss options.”
The spokesperson added police continue to hold community surgeries in the area, including one scheduled for last night in Burnfoot.