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Police station sell-off plans to be put before Board

Controversial plans to sell off 26 police stations will be put before members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board today.

PSNI chief constable Sir Hugh Orde wants to dispose of the facilities - most of which are either already closed down or only open on a limited basis - to generate resources and save money on their upkeep.

More proposed sales are likely to follow in the future as the police continues a review of its estate.

Senior PSNI chiefs will make their case to the board - the police's independent scrutiny body - during a private meeting in Belfast.

While the decision to close stations is an operational one and thus rests with the chief constable, any move to sell off PSNI property has to be backed by the board, which has responsibility for the police estate.

Today's discussions are set to be heated with the proposals already having angered unionist board members, who have questioned the timing of the move given the upsurge in dissident republican violence.

But nationalist and republicans have backed the plan, arguing that selling off un-used stations will not impact on front line policing.

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