Custody Suite Facility Bedfordshire Police HQ

Bidwells Planning & Heritage Team in conjunction with Norr Architects were appointed to prepare a full detailed major planning application for the erection of a custody suite building with ancillary office space along with alterations to car parking, including a new vehicular access area.

The proposal was to replace an existing temporary facility to meet the future needs of the Police and Crime Commissioner on behalf of the contractor and our client Willmott Dixon.

What we did


  • The Bidwells team undertook a feasibility assessment to inform the planning strategy and necessary technical input to support a planning application submission.

  • The team led on the pre-application and local engagement with the Local Planning Authority and Town Council including liaison with the Police and Crime Commissioner about their operational requirements. This proved challenging given the sensitive nature regarding the security of the facility. Bidwells led on the negotiation of the visual/design and highway impacts, including resolving disputes with neighbouring landowners to amend the development proposal to address the feedback received ahead of the submission

  • The team undertook Planning and Heritage Statements alongside supporting the Design And Access Statement, Highways and Landscape proposals. The team then reviewed and collated the submission in accordance with the construction programme for the delivery of the facility, which required consideration of the operational requirements of the Police to enable the suitable phasing of the development.

  • The application was determined under delegated approval within 16 weeks of submission, receiving only one single objection from a nearby resident. 

  • The Bidwells team negotiated over the provision of planning conditions in particular pre-commencement conditions that would hinder the delivery of the facility in accordance with the construction programme. The testament to the lack of any technical objections enabled the scheme to be delegated under the temporary relaxation of determination powers, following the COVID19 implications on public meetings.


  • Successfully secured full detailed planning permission under delegated powers within 16 weeks for a state of the art custody suite facility with ancillary office space and associated infrastructure.


Bedfordshire Police Headquarter Case Study Planning 


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