Chorley Council initially refused the plans in December 2021. Credit: via planning documents

Chorley super prison inquiry starts today… again

It is round three for the Ministry of Justice’s controversial application to construct a 1,700-inmate facility on 107 acres of Green Belt next to HMP Garth and HMP Wymott.

Chorley Council rejected the application in December 2021 against officer recommendation. Impact on the Green Belt, highway safety, and the amenity of residents nearby were given as the three reasons for refusal.

The decision went to appeal in July 2022, with the Planning Inspectorate siding in favour of the council and recommending the secretary of state dismiss the appeal.

However, Lee Rowley MP, then parliamentary under secretary of state for local government and building safety, disagreed. Acting on behalf of the secretary of state, he issued a ‘minded a grant’ decision in January 2023.

He said more highways evidence should be gathered, however, before a final decision was made. This led to another inquiry to be held.

That inquiry is the one that begins today. It will continue for four days.

If the MoJ is successful at this appeal, it will have outline permission to construct seven house blocks capable of holding up to 245 prisoners each.

There would also be a kitchen, workshops, kennels, central services hub, and various support buildings. Provision for 525 cars to park would be made, as well as the building of a perimeter fence. In all the amount of gross external area of the new builds would be 802,300 sq ft.

The application also includes outline permission to replace the boiler house used by the existing neighbouring prisons and full planning permission for a replacement bowling green and club house.

In total, the application’s requests encompass 107 acres – all of which is Green Belt.

Cushman & Wakefield has been leading the planning team for the project. Pick Everard designed the scheme. Also on the team: Mace, Ramboll, Tyler Grange, Orion Heritage, Hydrock, Heritage Advisory, Pegasus, E3P, and Atkins.

You can learn more about the project by searching application reference number 21/01028/OUTMAJ on Chorley Council’s planning portal. The reference number with the Planning Inspectorate is  APP/D2320/W/22/3295556.

Your Comments

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Another example of the insane time and money wasted by uneducated and unqualified local politicians getting involved in planning…planning boards really are not fit for purpose.

By Anonymous

They cannot staff the 2 prisons already there never mind a 3rd. They need to sort the living conditions contained in both CQC reports and IMB reports.

By Anonymous

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