The site is located in the centre of the Essex market town of Saffron Walden. To the rear of the site runs The Slade and behind that to the north is The Common. To the front of the site is East Street.
The main police station building has been little altered since its construction in 1886. It is in the Elizabethan ‘Tudor’ style, built in red brick with stone dressings. There is timber framing and plaster in some gables, and clay tile roofs with crested ridge tiles. The former Police Station is Grade II Listed and has an attached former coach house to its western side.
To the west of this main building, is a pair of former C1960s police houses, stark in appearance, red brick, symmetrical fenestration and tiled, hipped roofs.
To the eastern side of the Listed Building is a grassed gap that has a high Grade II listed wall, fronting East Street. Glimpses of The Common can be seen above the wall.
In 1840, Essex was one of the first counties to establish a police force under the provisions of the County Police Act 1839. In the early part of the 19th century a ‘domestic look’ was given to purpose-built Police Stations. The early Essex police stations were designed by Thomas Hopper, the County Surveyor. They were intentionally domestic in appearance, in case the new idea of a county police force failed and the buildings needed to find another use.
Once it became apparent that the police were here to stay, Hopper adopted a more distinctive Tudor Gothic style. Henry Stock, Hopper’s successor, continued in similar vein at Saffron Walden. The Police Station in Saffron Walden was designed by Stock in 1884 and opened in 1886.
The proposed development of the site includes the conversion of the main police station and coach house to three houses. The pair of police houses to the east are to be demolished and replaced with four, three storey town houses. Planning permission and Listed Building consent have been granted for all of this work. To the east of the former police station a planning application was refused for the construction of a single storey contemporary house sitting behind the listed wall. The planning appeal decision for this is expected in the Spring of 2019.
Covered car parking is provided to all the new dwellings, accessed from the rear of the site. Above the car parking, to some of the dwellings, the private gardens have been extended and provide views over The Common. There is pedestrian access to all the dwellings from East Street. Work is progressing on site and is expected to be completed during 2019.