Plans for a new police headquarters at Tweed Heads have been approved by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Work will start on the $13-million project when the existing Tweed Village Shopping Centre on Wharf Street is demolished.
The state’s parliamentary secretary for police, Geoff Provest, said debate over the best location for a new location has raged over the last five years.
“The first one was opposed by the previous government on prime agricultural land, and there was concern that we shouldn’t allow such a development on that,” he said.
“The second site was the existing Kingscliff police station, and there was concern from a number of community groups and local residents that it was inappropriate.”
But the Nationals’ MP said there was no argument about the need for a new complex.
“The current police complex was built roughly in the mid-70s, when we had a far lesser work force,” Mr Provest said.
“So there’s significant overcrowding, I guess there’s hot-bedding of various desks in rooms etc.It’s just old, out of date and that’s been the problem.”
The Tweed MP said the final design was a sensible compromise.
“There was a proposal to put a courthouse in … that’s no longer in this particular design,” Mr Provest said. “… I think just by doing that, it opens up other possibilities.”
“Currently our Tweed Heads court house is over worked, they’re sitting long hours and (this) gives us the opportunity to redevelop that site for other law-and-order activity.”