To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he decided to change the proposed new prison in Gartree from a category C to a category B prison; and for what reason that decision was made.
21 July 2022
The planning applications for new prisons next to HMPs Garth, Gartree and Grendon have been refused by the respective planning authorities. We have decided to appeal all of those planning refusals. As part of the evidence to those appeal inquiries, details of the site searches undertaken will be made publicly available.
The list of sites that were considered for the prison next to HMP Garth have been made available as part of that inquiry and can be found at: https://chorley.gov.uk/article/2612/Planning-appeals-HM-Prison-Wymott (document E1).
The proof of evidence in support of the new prison including the list of alternative sites considered at Gartree will be available after 6 September. The inquiry will run between 4 and 10 October 2022. The proof of evidence in support of the new prison at Grendon will be available in accordance with a timetable set by the planning inspector.
No decision has been made to change the number of new category C prisons from three to two.
The Deputy Prime Minister announced on 4 March this year that three of the four prisons will be run by the private sector and one will be run by the public sector. Planning permission has been granted for a category C prison at Full Sutton and construction of that prison is expected to commence in the summer. The MoJ has submitted planning applications for new category C prisons next to HMP Grendon Springhill and HMP Garth/Wymott in order to meet the forecast regional demand. A planning application has been submitted for a category B training prison next to the existing category B prison at Gartree in order to meet the forecast national need for category B places. The new prisons HMP Five Wells and HMP Fosse way will meet the regional demand for category C prisons in the Midlands.
As outlined above, planning for the new prison on land to the south of HMP Gartree is subject to an appeal process which is currently ongoing. The cost of the new prison can therefore only be finalised if planning permission is secured following the appeal process. If planning permission is granted an announcement will be made on the contract value and contractor who will take the project forward.