Plans for Havering Council to buy Hornchurch Police Station will have to wait until next year, it has been revealed. 

At a meeting on Wednesday (February 28), Councillor Keith Prince, Leader of the Conservative Party in Havering, said the Met Police Commissioner is not certain about selling the police station to the borough in 2024-25.

Plans were originally put forward by the Mayor of London’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) to dispose of the station in 2017 after it was shut down following a cut in police numbers.

After a judicial review, Havering Council was given approval in July 2018 to buy the station and lease it back to MOPAC. But the transaction was put on hold in 2019 when plans to recruit more officers were announced nationally and MOPAC sought to assess its impact on resources.

Read More: Hornchurch police station sale under review: Met commissioner

Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, Julia Lopez, supported by Cllr Prince, has since actively campaigned to push for the police station’s sale to the borough, with a petition in April 2023 citing Havering as having one of the highest growths in knife crime.

In response to the MP’s call for the station’s sale, Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley confirmed last year that the decision to dispose of Hornchurch Police station was under review.

He told Mrs Lopez at the time: “The review of the estate strategy that I have asked for will consider carefully how well the list of properties earmarked for disposal aligns with my strategy and priorities for the Met."

Cllr Prince told the meeting that he met Sir Mark a week ago and he was unable to say if the police station will be available for purchase by Havering in 2024-25.

The commissioner, he claimed, has put a hold on the review of the Met's estates as the number of police officers has gone up significantly, and the force may need more space for their officers.

Cllr Prince added: “So in this financial year it would be remiss for us to have a budget item that allows us to buy the station because is it is not going to be available.

“We are still however very committed for the council to buy the police station if it becomes available and Met Police agrees to sell it."