Council leader says ‘demolition and new build’ is best option for Wellingborough prison

Wellingborough Prison closed in 2012
Wellingborough Prison closed in 2012

A council leader has welcomed the recently approved plans to demolish and build a new prison in Wellingborough.

Cllr Martin Griffiths, leader of Wellingborough Council, has said they are pleased with the design of the new prison as well as the number of jobs it will create and the boost to the local economy.

His comments come after plans to demolish the former HM Wellingborough Prison and build a new prison on the same site were given unanimous approval at Wellingborough Council’s planning committee meeting last week.

The application for outline planning permission, submitted by the Ministry of Justice, includes the demolition of all existing buildings and construction of new buildings with a maximum floor space of 62,868 sqm, a secure perimeter fence together with access, car park, energy centre, landscaping and associated engineering works at the site in Millers Park.

The prison will have capacity for 1,600 Category C prisoners and will bring about 800 jobs to the town.

A new roundabout, vehicle access and bus stops will be sited in Doddington Road, along with temporary access for construction traffic.

The current entrance from Millers Park into the prison will be closed, which will be an improvement for residents of the estate.

Conditions agreed at the meeting were defined hours of construction work and a wheel wash for construction traffic, which will be restricted from going through Great Doddington.

Consideration was also given to the impact of site lighting and an improved Eastern boundary to minimise visual impact on the Nene Wildlife area.

Planting to the Crematorium boundary will begin this Autumn to allow time for trees to mature.

Speaking after planning permission was given, Cllr Griffiths said: “Following an extensive public consultation, we are very pleased with the design and welcome the return of a prison to this site.

“The current buildings are becoming more derelict by the day, so we consider demolition and new build to be the best option.

“The prison will bring hundreds of job opportunities to the town and a great boost to the local economy.”

Demolition of the existing buildings will start in July and is expected to finish in April next year.

A construction period of 18 months will follow, with a projected build cost of £143 million and completion expected in 2019.