One-stop shop gets bigger

PLANS for an extension to North Lanarkshire Council one-stop shop in Parkfoot Street, Kilsyth, (the former burgh chambers) to incorporate a new police office were approved by the planning committee last week.

Kilsyth Community Council objected to the design.

The application, from the council's own design services, is for a two-storey extension to the building. This will provide a new police office on the ground floor, with separate entrance, and will provide North Lanarkshire Council with additional office space on the upper floor.

The extension will be set back from the existing building and will be finished in facing brick, blue panel, and white render.

When the plans were first mooted a year ago, it was pointed out that the town's existing police station, across the road from the council offices, had become uneconomic to occupy and required extensive repairs. It was built in the early 1970s. The new arrangements are an extension of the partnership working between Strathclyde Police and NLC. The police approached the council about the possibility of sharing facilities.

The council's one-stop shop already provides a variety of services to the public on its ground floor office, including a cash counter, help desk, Job Centre information point and interview room, with the local housing area office upstairs. The police will have sole occupancy of part of the ground floor of the extension, with the council taking over the remainder, together with the upper floor of the extension, for the one-stop shop, thereby benefitting from increased accommodation.

Police have given an assurance that there will be no reduction in police services.

Kilsyth Community Council objected to the design of the building on the grounds that the proposed materials for the roof and walls were inappropriate for a building of this character located in such a prominent position in the town. They said they would have expected the materials to match the existing building. Indeed, when the community council discussed the plans in September, the word 'monstrosity', was used.

Planning officials said that given the age and weathering of the outside of the building, it would be difficult to achieve a match that would be visually acceptable. The solution was a bold contemporary design with certain material and design themes from the existing building.