POLICE Scotland are in talks to move a local station 300ft down the street to move in with the council – at a cost of £1.4m.
East Lothian Council have been in discussions with Police Scotland to co-locate Haddington Police Station into the former courthouse building, which was taken over by the council last year.
The station currently sits just seconds away from the council’s premises and are less than a minutes walk away and separated by just one building.
It’s estimated it would cost around £650,000 to bring the old courthouse up to minimum building standards and could cost double that to create new offices.
If approved a police reception desk would be installed at one side of the room, while council desks will sit across the room.
During a meeting between East lothian Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, it was agreed the council would back the proposal.
The discussion comes just a year after Police Scotland launched a review into police estates in a bid to save millions of pounds each year.
Councillor Willie Innes, council leader, said: “The loss of the sheriff courts in Haddington has resulted in considerable accommodation space left vacant.
“I have no doubt this will lead to an improvement of services and closer collaboration between the council and police and will be good for the public.”
SNP councillor Stuart Currie expressed reservations over the decision in fear it could be the start of more police stations closing in the county.
However, he added: “If we were able to work together with the police and it makes financial sense then who would not want that.”
Chief Inspector Matt Paden, local area commander for East Lothian, said: “We are committed to working closely with all our relevant partners to ensure we can all provide the highest level of service to the public as efficiently as possible.
“Joint facilities are proven to be the best way to deliver this, and we will be consulting with those who use and contribute to our services to ensure that we get the best from any new partnership premises.
“Any potential move will have no impact on the level of local policing we provide. We will continue to be visible and all engaging presence within the community.”
A business case will be drawn up and presented to the Scottish Police Authority finance committee before a final plan is presented to authority in December.
Police Scotland said they will be consulting with the public over the proposal.