Should police station have been demolished?

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Pontefract’s former police station has been demolished without the correct planning permission says Wakefield Council.

Sweet giant Haribo has submitted a planning application to the council seeking to demolish the Sessions House Yard building and turn it into a car park for its Front Street factory.

But the company already demolished the building at the end of last month.

Neil Rodgers, Wakefield Council’s service director for planning, transportation and highways, said the work was carried out without permission and the council could take action against the company.

Mr Rodgers said : “Unfortunately, Haribo has carried out this work without securing the necessary consent.

“Although they complied with the relevant section of the Building Act they also needed to obtain consent from the local planning authority to carry out any demolition.

“As this has not been done, the work already carried out by Haribo has been done at their own risk.

“Haribo’s current planning application is due to be determined by November 16 and the council will consider whether it would be appropriate to take enforcement action after that date, depending on the outcome of the planning application.”

A design and access statement submitted with the application said the building was owned by Haribo after it closed as a police station in 2012. It closed when officers and staff from Pontefract and Knottingley neighbourhood police team (NPT) moved to a new base at Pontefract Fire Station, Stumpcross Lane.

If approved, the site would become a car park for the use of Haribo staff and visitors with 24 spaces and bays for disabled drivers.

A spokesman for Haribo said the company believed it did have the correct permission to demolish the building before it carried out the works.

He said the company applied for permission to demolish the building under the Building Act in May 2015.

He said: “Demolition of the former police station in Pontefract is currently underway. “Haribo applied to demolish this building in May 2015, this was dealt with in accordance with the Building Act 1984 section 80 and section 81.

“Understanding that all of the correct procedures had been followed and permission granted, Haribo progressed.

“Haribo and its partners are currently liaising with Wakefield Council to understand any concerns.”