Architect Gilling Dod has submitted a planning application for a new-build 30,000 sq ft facility for Greater Manchester Police in Openshaw, home to the force’s Armed Response Unit.
The three-storey office and storage building will be built on land currently used as a temporary car park next to the force’s existing facility, which has become dated and is in need of essential maintenance.
The steel-framed building will house GMP’s Armed Response Unit, short-term kennelling for police dogs, and a external multi-use games area and a garden for use by officers when not on duty.
Around 60% to 70% of the building is set aside for storage use including changing areas, showers, and general equipment storage. The locker area has been designed with demountable walls to allow the expansion of the female locker area and the reduction of the male locker area, if the ratio of male and female officers changes based on the force’s recruitment.
There will also be parking for 178 vehicles.
Greater Manchester Police is currently using portacabins on the site to serve as an extension to the building, but theses are now “in a very poor state and not befitting of the GMP”, according to planning documents.
A refurbishment of the existing facility at the 1.7-acre site, bordered by New Smithfield Market and railway lines near Gorton station, was considered but was discounted in favour of building a “more efficiently designed” facility.
Alongside Gilling Dod, the professional team includes Q+A as planner and Curtins as transport consultant. E3p prepared the ground investigation report for the project.