Plans for Full Sutton ‘mega prison’ set to get thumbs up tomorrow

HMP Full Sutton.
HMP Full Sutton.

Plans for a “mega jail”, which has been dubbed a “monstrous eyesore” and attracted 2,700 objections, are recommended to be given the go-ahead tomorrow.

Campaigners have organised a demonstration outside County Hall in Beverley ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, with a free bus doing the rounds of Stamford Bridge, Skirpenbeck, Full Sutton, Fangfoss and Pocklington on the day to pick up objectors.

The Full Sutton prison proposal.

The Full Sutton prison proposal.

Fiona Roberts, from the campaign group No Mega Prison At Full Sutton, said they hoped councillors would make the “right decision”.

She said: “We are calling on as many people who object to these plans to join us as we protest the building of this monstrosity.”

The Category C jail would house up to 1,440 inmates and be built next door to HMP Full Sutton, a maximum security prison with a capacity of 608.

The latest plans are much bigger than those which gained outline planning approval two years ago and include accommodation for an extra 423 inmates.

They also include an increase in the number of buildings from 11 to 16, with six new four-storey floodlit accommodation blocks, inside a 5m security fence.

The number of staff would increase from 509 to 720.

Residents say the prison will be visible from miles around, including the Yorkshire Wolds.

Objectors have listed numerous concerns, including a “significant security risk” from the potential for inmates to overlook the village of Full Sutton and HMP Full Sutton. There are also worries about inmates being allowed out into the local area on unaccompanied day release.

The total number of staff and inmates at the new facility and the existing prison - as high as 3,300 - will be up to seven times greater than the village’s 470-strong population.

Chief Superintendent Phil Ward, from Humberside Police, has also objected on the grounds that the new prison will push up crime rates, placing “significant additional demand” on the force.

However, planning officers say the principle of expanding the prison has already been established by the earlier application.

Although they admit that there will be a significant increase in traffic movements of 523 per day, they say these will be spread throughout the day, with most visitors coming to the prison outside peak hours.

According to a report to councillors, a council traffic consultant concluded that the development should not have a severe impact on local roads, apart from increased queues at the traffic lights in Stamford Bridge.

Objectors have disputed Ministry of Justice figures about its economic impact, saying they are overstated and based upon incorrect assumptions. But planning officers say it will result in greater jobs opportunities, as more than 700 staff will be needed.