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Proposed refurbishment/refresh of four sites at Brixton, Kingston, Walworth Road and Collindale

Report: 9
Date: 23 June 2011
By: Director of Resources on behalf of the Commissioner


In line with the MPA/MPS Estates Strategy and in support of the MPS Custody Improvement Programme and Corporate Real Estate Programme, this paper proposes refurbishment/refresh works to four police buildings core to the estate to enhance the operational capacity of each including existing custody facilities to provide an additional 29/39 cells with additional interview, triage and virtual court facilities across the four locations.

A. Recommendations

That members

  1. Approve the proposal to undertake detailed design and costing works to ascertain the extent of refurbishment/refresh works that could be undertaken at Brixton, Colindale, Kingston and Walworth Police Stations building on existing facilities rather than demolition and rebuild, in line with the MPA/MPS Estates Strategy and in support of the TP Development Custody Improvement and Corporate Real Estate programmes;
  2. Approve a capital budget allocation of £3.6m for these works noting that potential spend of up to a further £42.1m for the subsequent works will be funded from the Custody and Corporate Real Estate budget lines as detailed within the 2011/18 Capital Programme and note that revenue implications will be managed within existing budgetary lines;
  3. Note that the design and costing works will be carried out through a pre-construction contract for each building will be procured through the Improvement and Efficiency South East (IESE) framework as approved by the Finance Committee in November 2007; and subject to the outcome of this, final approval for the tender and letting of construction contracts at the four sites identified will be sought , and
  4. Note that subject to detailed design, works to the four sites will enable decisions to be taken in regard to the longer term use of other facilities/buildings within the MPS under the Corporate Real Estate Programme which seeks to maximise the use of buildings core to the estate and reduce overall holdings by 25%.

B. Supporting information


1. The MPA/MPS Estates Strategy and Corporate Real Estate Programme introduced in 2010, seeks to invest in buildings to support operational needs; providing modernised facilities and maximising the use of these buildings, to release those that are surplus to requirements. Aside from compliance with health and safety and compliancy issues, investment will be focussed in those buildings that are core to operational policing needs and where opportunities exist to enhance the use of current facilities. In this way both the MPA and MPS can ensure funding is allocated to core needs, in accordance with value for money principles.

2. The CRE programme runs in parallel to the work undertaken and underway in support of other MPS programmes including DoI (ICT) Programmes including Real Time Communications/Integrated Access management etc., and the TP Development Custody Improvement Project. Modernisation of the estate will enable a reduction in the number of custody suites throughout the 32 London Boroughs whilst maintaining overall volume of cells. This will enable a review of those buildings where custody will no longer operate from to support CRE and rationalise the operational estate.

The quality of certain existing facilities in addition to the operational inefficiencies that result in operating from locations with limited cell numbers and the geographical dispersal of locations within the MPS estate has been widely reported. The TP Development Custody Improvement Project is developing the future operational model for custody (which at the time of writing) is to be considered by Management Board in the Summer 2011. The earlier model of Borough based custody centres has been reviewed identifying efficiencies in the delivery of custody service with the number and location of custody suites, their operating hours and staffing levels determined centrally. The composition of the custody estate will be based upon operational demand. Cell space and custody resources will take into account detainee risk and evidential need rather than just geographical factors. Increased efficiency will be delivered through an improved resourcing model for custody and through more effective utilisation of the estate.

3. In support of these work strands, the opportunities to enhance utilisation in the four buildings listed in this paper and extend custody facilities within these buildings that are core to the estate, have been identified. Although the constraints of the sites at Kingston and Walworth can not support the provision of a 30/40 cell custody suite - previously required as part of the roll out of the Borough Based model - changes to the working practices within custody relating to the processing of detainees and the facilities that will be available to both MPS Officers and those representing detainees will enhance through-put in each custody facility and as such the solutions in these locations can support ongoing operational needs. The proposed extension/refurbishment to existing locations will also minimise the impact to operations, and limit expenditure on new sites.

4. Proposals in regard to the four sites, subject to the outcome of detailed design, are outlined below. Additional information is detailed in exempt Appendix 1:

Brixton Police Station, Lambeth

5. The building currently provides cellular offices for SMT, and office based functions including a catering facility, locker and storage facilities. The existing custody suite includes 15 cells, 2 charge stations, 3 interview rooms and a virtual court.

6. Improved custody provision at this site has been prioritised by TP. Proposed works will include the refurbishment of all floors to open plan/flexible space with the potential to increase the number of workstations by approx. 25%: improving locker/changing areas. The custody extension and associated works will increase cell capacity from 15 to a maximum of 40 (30 single storey/40 two storey), with 5/6 charge stations and 7/8 interview rooms. The decision on the number of cells will be identified during the detailed design phase.

7. Details in regard to the timing/logistics of carrying out works will be developed through the design stage. Front Office functions will be maintained throughout build works to reduce security & community concerns. Other functions may need to be temporarily located. Office facilities elsewhere on the Borough will be able to support those teams based at Brixton Police Station, including Frank O’Neill House (lease expiry 2014).

8. Initial discussions with local town planners suggest any Town Planning application will be considered positively.

Colindale Police Station

9. The building currently provides open and cellular office space for various policing operations supporting both borough and pan-London teams as well as Local Authority units, canteen, locker and storage facilities. The existing Custody Suite has 21 cells, 3 charge stations, 3 interview rooms.

10. Improved custody provision at this site has not been prioritised by TP ; additional custody facilities could provide one of the required overflow locations for surge capacity and flexibility within the north-west estate to facilitate the ongoing development of other custody facilities. The proposed works will include the refresh of all floors increasing the number of workstations by approx. 15% in addition to improving locker/changing areas. Working with Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), who also occupy areas of the building, PSD will establish longer term operational requirements including a proposal to relocate teams elsewhere within the estate including options at either Peel Centre, Hendon or Empress State Building. This will release accommodation at Colindale for the TP Area Commander as well as centralising the patrolling functions utilising the second floor. Custody extension and refurbishment will increase the cell capacity to 25 with 4 charge stations and 4 interview rooms.

11. Details in regard to the timing/logistics of carrying out works will be developed through the design stage. If DPS teams can be relocated works may be arranged with remaining occupiers in situ. It is unlikely that town planning consent will be required as the ground floor was designed to enable custody to expand into areas currently allocated for locker rooms/stores.

Kingston Police Station

12. The building currently provides cellular and general offices for SMT, administrative functions etc and canteen, locker and storage facilities. The existing custody suite has 10 cells, 2 charge stations, 2 interview rooms and a virtual court.

13. Improved custody provision as this site has been prioritised by TP. The proposed works will include the refresh of all floors increasing workstations by approx. 40%; improving locker/changing areas. The custody extension and refurbishment will increase the cell capacity to 15/18 with 4 charge stations and 4 interview rooms.

14. Details in regard to the timing/logistics of carrying out works will be developed through the design stage. Opportunities have been identified to decant to Local Authority facilities, but more work will be undertaken during the design stage. Vacating the building in part/whole will enable a quicker build time. It is expected that obtaining town planning consent will not be contentious.

Walworth Police Station

15. The building currently provides cellular offices for some members of the SMT, administrative functions, canteen, locker and storage facilities. The existing custody suite has 20 cells, 2 charge stations, 4 interview rooms.

16. Custody provision at this site is a lower priority for TP than Brixton and Kingston, However, the proposed works will include the refresh of all floors increasing workstations by approx 40% and improve locker/changing areas which will need to be relocated from the ground floor to accommodate custody facilities. The custody extension and refurbishment will increase the cell capacity to 25 with 4 charge stations and 4 interview rooms

17. Changes to the estate as a result of the proposals in this report will be aligned to business group change programme implementation processes.


18. Following a successful tender process, in November 2007, the MPA Finance Committee approved the appointment of three main contractors from the Improvement and Efficiency South East Major Contractors Framework (IESE), to carry out a number of Patrol Base, Custody Centre and combined Custody and Patrol Base projects, using a two stage tender, design and build process.

19. The procurement process under the IESE framework makes provision for the award of pre-construction agreement (PCA) in advance of any main construction contract. The PCA mechanism delivers detailed design and cost certainty prior to the award of the construction contract. The existing IESE framework expires on 19 July 2011. Placing a PCA under IESE in advance of this date is permitted, and is feasible within the current programme. Any future projects will be tendered through either OJEU or via a compliant framework such as the second generation IESE framework.

20. The IESE framework will enable the construction contract to be placed compliantly after 19 July 2011. In this instance, and if approval is given to the works proposed, the period may be up to 2 years from the date of the PCA.

21. Until the detailed design phase is completed it is unclear what the impact on the current operational use of the sites will be. Certain teams may need to be temporarily relocated and this will be discussed and agreed in full with relevant Business Groups. In addition, it is unclear the extent to which other buildings within the existing portfolio can be released. Certain opportunities have been identified which will be explored further with operational colleagues. The Corporate Real Estate Programme will enable the MPA to reduce the property portfolio by 25% in 2014/15. Investment in these four locations is directly aligned to this Programme.

22. MPA approval to proceed is requested on this basis. If approval is given, updates on these projects will be provided through the regular updates to the Estates Panel and through the Quarterly Updates to the MPA Finance and Resources Committee.

C. Other organisational and community implications

1. The equality and diversity implications arising from the custody element of this proposal have been addressed though the Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) that has been prepared as part of the TP Development Custody Improvement Project which is developing the future operational model for custody is to be considered by Management Board in the Summer 2011 (at the time of writing).

2. All facilities will ensure compliance to current legislation and MPS requirements, where possible. The refurbishment and refresh of office, locker/changing room and custody areas will provide suitable facilities for operational use and those visiting the building. Further details in regard to the provision of facilities provided through the Corporate Real Estate approach will be presented to the MPA Equalities and Diversity Committee in June.

Consideration of MET Forward

3. The Corporate Real Estate and Delivery of Property Services’ strands are obliged within the intent of Met Forward, in particular demonstrating value for money.

Financial Implications

4. The increase in desk numbers and utilisation rates in these four properties will also enable the MPS to consider further the future need for other buildings within the four London Boroughs where works are proposed. Buildings will be released which will generate capital receipts and reduced revenue commitments, in line with the Corporate Real Estate Programme.

5. Costs incurred as a result of the temporary relocation of staff into existing MPS accommodation will be funded from the Corporate Real Estate Programme.


6. The approved Custody Programme budget for 2011/12 to 2017/18 totals £171.58m of which £62.24m has been allocated. A separate report being presented to this Committee proposes the allocation of a further £20.993m. This paper proposes the allocation of £43.58m in support of operational needs. The balance of £2.08m required for increased utilisation will be funded through the Corporate Real Estate Programme. If both proposals are approved the remaining funding within the programme line that has yet to be allocated is £44.767m.

7. A breakdown of expenditure for the four schemes is detailed in Exempt Appendix 1.


8. It is anticipated at this stage that the PSD related revenue implications of this proposal will be met within existing MTFP budgets. Until detailed design proposals are developed under the PCA agreements, further clarity can not be provided at this stage.

9. DoI related revenue implications are being assessed and will be identified during the design stages. Any additional funding requirements will be considered for PINS funding as appropriate.

Legal Implications

10. The terms of reference of this Committee allow Members to consider and approve the recommendations which are set out in this report.

11. All regulated contracts for works, goods and services that are required for the proposed schemes identified within this report will need to be procured in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations 2006 (“the regulations”), EU Directives and MPA contract regulations.

12. A “call-off” from a framework agreement that is available to the MPA in accordance with the procedures set out in Regulation 19 of the regulations is a compliant method of procuring the required works. Procurement Services confirm that the requisite works will be procured compliantly using the IESE framework Agreement and in accordance with the requirements set out in the regulations.

13. Members may agree to delegate authority to the MPS Contracts Board to approve the letting of individual contracts associated with this proposal within the approved budget

14. This Report has been submitted in line with MPA’S Contract Regulations (Part F), which requires approval to be sought before the commencement of any procurement or purchase activity which has a total value that exceeds £5m.

15. This report also provides additional transparency and scrutiny to the proposed purchase activity.

Environmental Implications

16. The outcome of the Business Case, in broad terms, will achieve the following three outcomes each of which will result in environmental benefits:

  • Reduction in resource use and impacts
  • Retention of higher quality estate
  • Increased utilisation of estate

17. Specific environmental enhancements will be considered at detailed design stage in line with the MPS Sustainable Design guidelines and processes.

18. Any fit-out and procurement will adhere to Property Services Directorate design guidelines on environmental management covering construction and operational use, and specifications for responsible procurement. This will ensure, for example, that ICT equipment is energy efficient.

19. Procurement will address sustainability wherever possible. When specifying for equipment and technologies, consideration will be given to the legacy use of the equipment, with preference given to equipment with flexibility to be attained from other builds or re-deployed. The anticipated environmental implications are tabulated below: The table below indicates the expected effect of the proposed works to the building.

  Higher Lower No impact Mitigation/ management of any higher impact
Level of energy use and associated carbon dioxide emissions   Tick   Buildings equipped with modern efficient M&E installations and to be insulated to current building regulation standards.
Level of water consumption     Tick The effect will be negligible or broadly similar. Higher water consumption related to increased habitation of sites may be offset by inclusion of modern equipment and plant with greater efficiency and potential use of other initiatives such as of rainwater harvesting.
Level of waste generation/waste requiring disposal   Tick   There will a volume of construction, demolition and excavation waste produced due to the proposed development. The MPS are signed up to the WRAP construction waste initiative which results in 90% being diverted from landfill. Provision will be made for adequate waste and recycling bins to cover the increase in staff to buildings.
Level of travel and transport and associated emissions     Tick No additional staff commuter parking.
Raw material use and finite resources (use of recycled materials and sustainable alternatives) Tick   Construction works will be undertaken and will comply with the MPS Sustainable Design Guidance and should seek to, within economic bounds, maximise the use of recycled material and sustainable resources in line with best practice / regulation.

Risk (including Health and Safety) Implications

Each Programme is dependant on the ability to maintain operational capacity including support during the Olympic Games period. The appointment of a contractor through the IESE framework will capture the “lessons learnt” from previous schemes and ensure a collaborative approach to the works is undertaken to minimise disruption and inconvenience.

D. Background papers

  • MPA Finance Committee - 19 September 2007 – Appointments to the Custody Centre and Patrol Base Programmes utilising the SECE Major Works Framework

E. Contact details

Report authors: Jane Bond, Director Property Services and Roger Harding, Director of Construction, MPS

For more information contact:

MPA general: 020 7202 0202
Media enquiries: 020 7202 0217/18

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