The situation: Wellingborough is set for a new Mega Prison which could have serious repercussions for local people and the environment, as well as those harmed by the prison system. On this page you will find information about how to object to the planning application for Wellingborough prison.
HOW TO SUBMIT A PLANNING OBJECTION
- Go to: https://publicaccess.wellingborough.gov.uk/online-applications/
- Use the search function and enter the reference.
- The Planning Application Reference is: WP/18/00700/CND.
- You will find the application summary. Click “Make a comment.”
- Fill in your details and submit your comment. You have a maximum of 1000 characters.
How to Find Background Information about the Prison:
You can find all the planning documentation for HMP Wellingborough here: https://publicaccess.wellingborough.gov.uk/online-applications/
Use the search function and enter the reference.
The Planning Application Reference is: WP/18/00700/CND.
You can also send questions to the Planning Department:
Telephone: 01933 231902
POTENTIAL POINTS TO MAKE
Everyone will have different reasons for why they are concerned about having a new prison in their local area. For people that do not live locally, they m
ay feel concerned about the harm the prison system causes and not want any more to be built anywhere.
This page aims to summarise some of the key points about the prison.
THREAT TO ENDANGERED SPECIES OF BATS
- The existing buildings of HMP Wellingborough, several of which would be demolished under the plans, are located within 250 metres of large waterbodies and the river Nene, all of which provide favourable habitat for foraging and commuting bats. The local branch of the National Bat Conservation Trust in Northolts have Records of five species of Bats in the Wellingborough area, an
d expect there are more. Bats and their roosts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
- Under The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Circular 06/2005 (paragraph 99), it is essential that the presence or otherwise of protected species, and the extent that they may be affected by the proposed development, is established before planning permission is granted. Currently we cannot be confident that the proposals as put forward would provide adequate mitigation for any losses to roosting bats. If surveys have been done, then the public are entitled to view the reports. We are also ent
itled to view an ecology report.
DISRUPTION OF LOCAL AREA
- A full Environment Impact Assessment was not ordered, despite the construction of what is basically a new village in terms of numbers of people and their potential impact. The planning application stated that the development will lead to the loss of all existing wildlife habitats on the site; notably bats and barn owls. There are also pollution risks during construction and debates locally about how the local foul drainage system can cope with a dramatic load increase. The planning documentation states there will be “workshop buildings where prisoners will carry out a variety of activities”, but no detail is given on the size or scale of these workshops.
- The infrastructure network is insufficient to cope with the demand of the new prison. At peak times there will be a massive increase of vehicles accessing Doddington Road from Turnels Mill Road Junction. This junction already struggles with traffic and queueing from as far as Higgins Builders Merchants. Also, the traffic generated entering onto the A45 will have a detrimental affect on commuters and may encourage more traffic through Doddington village to access the A45. The local residents will see a negative impact on an already struggling infrastructure network.
OVERALL, THE REPORT IS TOO VAGUE
The Environmental Management Plan provides no evidence that surveys of protected species or an ecology report have been completed. Therefore the Local Planning Authority cannot determine whether or not the proposals would provide adequate mitigation / compensation for any losses to protected species, for example roosting bats and barn owls, nor can they determine whether the (vague) measures put forward in the document are appropriate for their protection during works. Measures proposed for protecting the River Nene and Pond 9 from pollution during works, and for removing asbestos and hydrocarbons, are also very vague. The public is entitled to see reports from any surveys undertaken for protected species and to see a detailed ecology report. Given that the proposed prison will treble the size of the existing one and the impact this is likely to have on local ecology, a full Environmental Impact Assessment should be ordered.