CONTRACTORS are due to move on site this week to begin work on a new police station for Minehead.

They will be converting the empty Seahorse Centre, in Stephenson Road, which was previously used for day care for children and young adults with disabilities.

The work is expected to be completed ready for police officers and staff to move in by the late autumn.

Plans by Avon and Somerset Constabulary were approved in February by Somerset Council, but the force has now applied to amend the planning permission.

The constabulary originally wanted to demolish a conservatory and build a single-storey extension to the building in its place.

Now, it said it only wanted to remove the conservatory and no longer had plans for an extension.

The council has asked for any further public comments about the plans to be submitted by May 28 and has set itself an internal deadline of July 2 for determining the application.

Until the new premises are ready, the police will continue to work out of the current station in Townsend Road, which will then be put up for sale with a housing scheme the most likely outcome, subject to planning permission being obtained.

The new Seahorse Centre station will provide an inquiry office, a base for the local Neighbourhood Policing Team, and ‘touchdown desks’ for response officers.

Part of the property will also be leased back to Somerset Council as a space for the authority to deliver training to health and social care staff.