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Ex-Salford Crescent Police Headquarters could be…117 flats?

The former Salford Crescent Police Station could be transformed into residential flats if developers have their way.

An application by Trafford Park-based Stama Developments (Salford) Ltd outlines a proposal to split up the large 1957 neo-Georgian headquaters into 117 individual apartments.

The police station on the Crescent opposite Salford University’s Peel Park campus closed in 2005.

The imposing 6,480sq ft building has lain empty and boarded up since.

Greater Manchester Police’s entire cadre of officers then moved into rather more prosaic PFI buildings on Chorley Road in Swinton and at Belvedere Road in Pendleton.

Salford City Police officers display their Hillman Minx patrol cars in the rear yard of their headquarters - © Greater Manchester Police Museum

Salford City Police officers display their Hillman Minx patrol cars in the rear yard of their headquarters – © Greater Manchester Police Museum

Over the past 10 years the inside of the structure – which still retains the original police cells – has been trashed by vandals and suffered repeated fire damage.

Atmospheric 2011 pictures by ‘urban explorers’ 28dayslater show the state of the inside.

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It was saved from demolition five years ago because of its historic frontage but the council have been looking for a suitable buyer ever since.

In summer 2015 local students from Salford University’s Arts and Media department made an attempt to brighten up the facade with artwork covering the empty window spaces, but it can’t hide the fact this is a large and derelict building on a major route into Salford.

Salford Crescent Police HQ art student

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Stama Developments have now submitted plans to knock down part of the headquarters and break it up into 117 one, two and three-bed flats.

To the rear at Irwell Place there would be 34 townhouses.

Salford Crescent Police HQ - Stama CGI townhouses

An artist’s impression of the new townhouses

A ‘community involvement’ statement shows 20 neighbouring properties were consulted on the plans back in May, with residents highlighting concerns over a lack of parking, loss of light and privacy for the nearby Albert Bentley Square

Still only 64 car parking spaces and 65 cycle spaces remain in the latest version of the plans.

This is for five studio flats, 50 one-bed flats, 38 two bed flats, four three-bed flats, seven three-bed houses and 27 four-bed houses.

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In its day Salford Crescent Police Headquarters was described in the much-revered Pevsner’s Architectural Guide as a “proud municipal Neo-Georgian” building.

It was designed by the nationally-significant architects Bradshaw Gass and Hope, themselves were famous for their impressive public buildings in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Inside it was set up with (at the time) state of the art accomodation for officers, along with cells and ‘the most modern information room outside Scotland Yard’.

Less well known are the secret bunkers under the station – designed to be a base for defending Salford in the event of war or civil rioting.

Designed in red-brown brick with limestone dressings, it features pedimented windows set in arched balconied recesses, as well as a mansard roof clad in Westmorland green slate.

It was offered up for 250-year leasehold by Urban Vision back in 2012 on the proviso that the council would not support student housing schemes.

The plans are due for approval or refusal on Tuesday 27 September.

Main image: MSPL Planning & Design

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.