PLANNERS have given the go ahead to plans for a huge new prison in a village near Stamford Bridge, despite strong protests by residents.
The 1,000-capacity jail is set to be built on 21 hectares of land at Full Sutton, to the west of the existing 600 capacity high security prison.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning committee voted 8-2 this afternoon to approve an outline application by the Government, subject to conditions.
The jail, which will create 500 new jobs and house Category C male prisoners – a lower level of security than the existing HMP Full Sutton- is part of a £1.3 billion investment in prisons by the Government, aimed at promoting modernisation and replacing old and inefficient prison places elsewhere.
Forty-three people had lodged formal objections prior to today’s meeting at County Hall in Beverley, along with six local parish councils, claiming the plan would be unsustainable and unsuitable, and the increase in size would be unacceptable.
Officers said today that another 12 objections had been received, along with a petition signed by 164 people.
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight had also written, saying many residents had concerns about the size and scale of the development and about a traffic survey which had reportedly been conducted in November when traffic was light and did not give an acurate picture of summer traffic levels.
He called for a deferral until after another traffic survey could be carried out in August.
Resident Rupert Towers told the meeting that roads in Full Sutton already suffered from heavy traffic because of its position between Pocklington and Stamford Bridge, and the new prison would worsen this problem.
He also claimed the site had been chosen purely because the Ministry of Justice already owned the land, and claimed the prisoners would be released into the area with safeguarding risks created for the local population.
Local councillor Andy Burton said there was a ‘great deal of unrest and uncertainty’ about the application in Full Sutton.
Clllr David Rudd, whose ward includes Full Sutton, said he understood residents’ concerns about issues such as traffic, but said the existing prison had been there for a long time there would be benefits to the area, including the economy in Pocklington and new employment.
Cllr Phil Davison called for a liaison group to be set up with the local community, and it was agreed this should be among the conditions to be impsed by the authority..
Full Sutton parish councillors had raised concerns previously about the lack of public transport, a massive increase in traffic and the impact the large buildings would have on the countryside.
They said the prison would have a“prominent, substantial and fortress like appearance, and was too big and in the wrong location.
Concerns were also raised about extra traffic on the A166, a road which was already a busy route to the coast, with particular fears about the impact on the ‘bottleneck’ at the bridge in Stamford Bridge.