Stop a proposed prison in Buckinghamshire getting planning permission – ACT NOW

The MOJ has submitted an application to the Buckinghamshire Council for planning permission. This is a crucial time to get objections in and could stop the mega-prison from being built. Mass objections to granting planning permission to a prison in Port Talbot, South Wales in 2019 blocked construction completely.

Please use this guide to submit objections to a mega-prison in Buckinghamshire and be a part of stopping prison expansion!

Now is the time!

1) Go to the website

2) Click on the “make a comment” tab. You do not need to make an account.

3) Add your details. You could use a different name if you prefer, and some may chose to select an address in Buckinghamshire.

4) For commentator type, choose “consultee” and for stance, pick “object

5) write your objection! You have 6000 characters. You can use the below suggestions for objections. Once you have written your objection, you can click submit.

Ideas for objections:

There are many grounds for objections to this prison. To make your response as effective as possible, it is best to use information specific to the prison, as opposed to general moral objections. Here are some suggestions:

Environmental Objections

The prison development will have an adverse effect on the environment:

  • There are habitats of ecological value including hedgerows, ponds and broad-leaved woodland. These habitats are of Local Level ecological importance and are described as Habitats of Principal Importance (in accordance with Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 Section 41). These habitats are being removed within the development proposals.
  • 1.95km of hedgerows will be removed.
  • 0.03 ha broad leaved woodland of local ecological value will be removed.
  • The loss of great crested newt terrestrial habitat on the site is ‘unavoidable’ if the prison is built.
  • In October 2020, seven species of bats were identified in surveys using the site.
  • The ecological consultants state that it would take 25 years for a positive effect on habitats at a local level. This means the development will negatively impact the environment for a quarter of a century.
  • Hedgerows and ponds are a local priority habitat within Buckinghamshire. The prison development threatens both.
  • There are protected bird species on site, including a number that are red-listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern (BoCC). At-risk bird species include redwing, fieldfare, song thrush, dunnock and red kites. Barn Owls have been previously identified at the site and are a protected species.
  • There is a badger sett at the west of the site and badgers use the site for foraging.
  • There is a breeding population of common lizards.
  • Many other species are threatened by the development including butterflys, invertebrates including aquatic invertebrates, grass snakes and toads.
  • The prison will generate over 605 tonnes of waste per year.
  • Food waste is estimated to be 1kg per resident per week. This is approximately 210kg per day for the whole development. This means 76,650kg or over 75 tons of food waste per year.
  • Topsoil will be destroyed during construction.

Design objections

  • The development of a greenfield site within the open countryside for a new resettlement prison would fail to comply with both national and local policies.
  • The magnitude of impact on local landscape character during construction as a result of the proposed development is high.
  • There is a pinch point between the north and south of the site. 
  • One of the public right of ways will be diverted, impacting the local community.
  • The earthworks and construction phase activities have the potential to generate short-term increases in noise levels that could negatively effect the local community.
  • Public transport is completely inadequate in servicing the site. Buses are not compatible with shift times for workers. There are no appropriate services at weekends for visitors.
  • There is no bus service to Bicester Village Railway Station from the site meaning prisoner families and staff will be unable to get to the prison on public transport. Taxis are commonly financially prohibitive for visitors.
  • The existing prisons are served by bus routes from Aylesbury bus station which stops on Grendon Road at the foot of the access road, about 10 minutes walk from the prison.
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2019) states that developments should address the needs of people with disabilities and reduced mobility in relation to all modes of transport (Paragraph 110.b. Section 9). The site does not meet the needs of people with disabilities using public transport to access the prison.
  • The access roads are not suitable for these construction proposals.

Traffic impacts

  • Estimates predict 575 in and 575 out daily traffic movements once operational. This will have a huge impact on the local community.
  • The MoJ’s Economic Impact of a New Prison (2013) report identified an employee containment rate of 54 per cent. This means that 54 per cent of staff at the prison could be expected to live in the local (district) area. This means nearly half will be driving through the village and local area from outside of the area to go to work. This will greatly impact the local and regional area in terms of traffic creation.
  • Local people are already adversely impacted by construction traffic from HS2 and East West Rail.
  • The construction traffic involved in building the prison will be significant in noise, dust pollution and traffic congestion.

Safety concerns

  • The proposed site is contaminated by air delivered ordnance bombs and sub-munitions/incendiaries and Anti Aircraft Ammunition (AA) from Military Usage. The risk level on site is medium and given that some UXO retains the potential to detonate if disturbed with possible severe consequences.

Views

  • Building this prison would have some major adverse effects for those living nearby and those who travel through the surrounding area. This is as a result of the impact on the skyline in the view from these locations and the close proximity of receptors to the largest elements of built form (houseblocks).
  • Consultants have concluded some major adverse effects for sensitive visual receptors (including occupiers of residential properties and users of the local PROW network) close to the site to the north and east.
  • Further from the site, visual effects reduce to moderate to major and moderate adverse where there is extensive existing reference to prison built form, or at middle distances.