Tadworth - the beginning of the end?

It was reported last week in the Surrey Mirror local newspaper that Berkeley Homes have now formally submitted a planning application to build 13 homes on the St. Cross site, formerly the British Transport Police Training Centre at Tadworth, Surrey. The old buildings are to be completely demolished. Thanks to Geraldine Joyce this fact was highlighted on the BTP Group on Facebook (closed group) and a considerable amount of interest was generated amongst Group members. Several people expressed an interest in paying a last visit to Tadworth and this seemed a good opportunity to make a photographic record of the building before demolition.

The BTPHG had already made contact with Berkeley Homes with a view to having a plaque erected somewhere on the site to mark the nearly 60 years of BTP occupation. Rob Davison, who had originally suggested the plaque had been the BTPHG liaison point with Berkeley; and so today (Wednesday 5th December 2012) Rob made contact with them to see if such a visit could be organised.

Unfortunately the news is bad. Berkeley consider that the property is not safe to visit in its current condition. The interior was stripped of anything of value or interest at the behest of the Police Authority when the building was about to be handed over to Berkeley. Since then, floorboards have been removed, ceilings have fallen in due to water damage, and the place is virtually gutted, particularly in the search for the dreaded asbestos! Of course, Health & Safety considerations also come into this and we should be mindful of Berkeley’s responsibilities in this respect. This also applies to anyone just wanting to photograph the outside of the buildings. Berkeley do have some photographs of the outside that were taken after the hand-over and are willing to share these with us. We would therefore suggest that no-one be tempted to try and gain access to the site.

So a disappointing end to our connection with Tadworth. On the plus side we are still pressing ahead with the proposed plaque.

Also, I have today started a new Photo Gallery on this website with a selection of photos from the Tadworth archives. It is still in the early stages, but already a few gems are present.

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