Cash-strapped police force must pay £400,000 to move redundant radio mast

The radio mast at Durham Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads.
The radio mast at Durham Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads.
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A POLICE force facing cutbacks and calling for an increase in funds from taxpayers is paying up to £400,000 to move a defunct radio mast.

Durham Constabulary wanted to knock down the 1960s structure once it moves from its headquarters in Durham to a new £15million base on an adjacent site at Aykley Heads.

But English Heritage, The City of Durham Trust and others raised concerns and asked for the Grade II-listed mast to be saved.

The structure was designed by Brutalist engineer Sir Ove Arup, who was also responsible for the Sydney Opera House and Kingsgate Bridge in Durham City Centre.

As a result of the lobbying, police agreed to make it part of its new headquarters.

However, force bosses say the decision still makes sense because leaving it in place would reduce the value of its current headquarters site, which is earmarked for housing, by £1million.

The police development has already suffered one setback after it was suspected great crested newts were on the new HQ site, costing taxpayers £100,000.