Police HQ move could be hampered by heritage campaign

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PLANS to move a police force’s headquarters could be affected by a campaign to save a defunct communications mast.

Durham Constabulary wants to build a new £14million complex near its existing site at Aykley Heads, in Durham City.

The land where its offices now stand has been earmarked for 200 new homes.

But the mast, built in the 1960s as part of the police base, has Grade II listed status and has gained support for its survival.

The 150ft-high structure was designed by Sir Ove Arup, which also worked on the city’s Kingsgate Bridge and Dunelm House, the Sydney Opera House and the Barbican Centre in London.

The concrete mast was designed to not block views of the cathedral and was listed in 2003, although is no longer used.

English Heritage has praised its form, while the City of Durham Trust has said it would be a “pity” if it was demolished and suggested it is put next to the new police office.

But force chiefs have said the mast would not fit in with a residential development and relocating it would be costly and difficult.

The application for the project is to be discussed by Durham County Council in coming weeks.