No decision yet on fate of existing police station

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A SPOKESPERSON for the Policing Board says no decision has been made yet on what will happen to the existing Ballymoney Police Station site in Ballymoney once the new station, currently under construction on the other side of Charlotte Street, opens in 2013.

The response comes after a reader asked the Times to ask the powers-that-be what is to become of the original police barracks in Charlotte Street?

The reader, who did not want to give their name, said: “It is an issue which seems to have escaped under the radar with both politicians and the local DPP.”

The new station is being built on the site of the former Westoncrofts House which, according to the reader, came into the possession of police in 1984.

The reader added: “Over the years, the house had been occupied by several noted residents of Ballymoney, including:

* John Leslie Beers J.P., Governor of the County Antrim Gaol, who eventually became the Governor of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, reforming the latter to provide improved living conditions for the inmates.

* Thomas Greer M.A., J.P., educated at Trinity College, Dublin, Crown Solicitor for the County of Antrim, and the founder of the Ballymoney firm of solicitors now known as Greer, Hamilton and Gailey.

* The Pinkerton family, whose descendants still practice in the local legal profession.

* The Johnston family, including Mr. J. Johnston, a Civil Engineer who was the County Antrim Surveyor.

The reader said: “What is to be the fate of the original Ballymoney barracks? Since the demolition of Westoncrofts and erection of a new facility is budgeted to cost some £5.2m, surely the potential for recouping some of this cost it is a matter of interest to the taxpayer in these times of financial constraint? The silence on this matter from our politicians and the PSNI is deafening.”

The Policing Board spokesperson told the Times: “The Board has not yet been informed about the future plans for the current Ballymoney Station site and if it is to be disposed off it will come to the Board in due course.”