A building in the town centre that will become Watford's new police station has officially been sold for £6.5 million.

The town's police officers are set to move into the building in George Street next year.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says the town's current police hub in Shady Lane is "coming to the end of its life", and Watford Borough Council has earmarked the site for 120 new homes as part of its new local plan.

The sale of the three-storey George Street building has been confirmed by land agency Walter Cooper.

Nigel Palmer, land director at Walter Cooper, said: "The search for a police station was undertaken several years ago when the building in Shady Lane reached the end of its economic life.

"The new site gives officers and staff more space and modern fit-for-purpose facilities. It will also mean more environmentally friendly measures can be installed such as charging points for electric vehicles.

"Ultimately, it puts the needs of the community first, staying centrally located, as a positive step for those living and working in Watford."

Watford Observer: Watford's current police station in Shady LaneWatford's current police station in Shady Lane

Hertfordshire Constabulary received permission from Watford Borough Council in September to change the George Street building. which has been used as offices, into a police station.

The George Street site had recently been sold to Splendid Hospitality Group but the company has since found a new home in Watford.

Darren Arnold, land director at property agents Savills, said: "Although we had recently sold the site to the Splendid Hospitality Group to relocate their headquarters, the pandemic brought about an opportunity for them to rethink their requirements and they were able to find alternative premises elsewhere in Watford to better suit their needs.

"We were delighted to assist the Splendid Hospitality Group on the disposal of the site and at the same time facilitating the community benefit of a new police station for Watford."

Watford Observer: The soon-to-be George Street police station. Credit: Stephen DanzigThe soon-to-be George Street police station. Credit: Stephen Danzig

The new police station will maintain a front counter service but there will be no custody suite.

The George Street police station will have parking for 30 police vehicles with 35 spaces for staff and 40 cycling spaces. There is no visitor parking proposed.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said in the summer: "Throughout this process it has been crucial to find a suitable property which maintains a police station in the town centre.

"The location means it is close to the High Street ensuring officer foot patrols can be conducted easily, while it is also close to the ring road enabling a rapid vehicle response.

"The new site also has provision for a front counter service to be maintained. It will also mean more environmentally friendly measures can be installed such as charging points for electric vehicles."