Fight goes on

Villagers outside the prison.
Villagers outside the prison.

Full Sutton residents have vowed to keep on fighting after controversial plans to build a new £91 million super-size prison near York were approved.

An outline planning application for the Category C jail was approved by East Riding councillors during a meeting at County Hall, Beverley, last Thursday.

The proposed development at Full Sutton Prison.

The proposed development at Full Sutton Prison.

The villagers and the parish council had objected to the planning for various reasons, including the lack of infrastructure to cope with the new development.

They also cite a paucity of public transport to deal with visitors to the new jail.

The jail for 1,000 men will be built next to HMP Full Sutton, one of four new developments announced by Justice Secretary Liz Truss as part of plans to reform the crisis-hit jail system.

The spokesman for the battle to stop the development, Rupert Towers, said villagers would have to re-group and start again.

Mr Towers said: “We were disappointed with the decision and will continue to fight on. We will look into how to appeal this decision.

“This was my first visit to a planning meeting and was disappointed by the process. Villagers felt it was just being rubber stamped, a done deal.

“We think the only reason the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) put in the application is because it owns the land.

“We believe that if a housebuilder had asked to develop an estate for 1,000 people it would have been rejected. The same goes with a supermarket complete with a large car park.

“There are more suitable sites in the area such as the Category C prison at North Cave which already has the infrastructure in place.

“We were annoyed when the MoJ officials said they had addressed all our concerns at the meeting as we think they haven’t.”

Pocklington Provincial councillor and Full Sutton resident Andy Strangeway said he could not see any reason for refusal.

However, he said there were still question marks over the plans, which will have to come back to the committee for final sign off.

He added: “I believe there are going to be a lot of conditions attached to the application and I believe there needs to be.”

The new prison could spell good news for the local economy, with plans to directly employ more than 500 staff.