'Stop the mega prison' exhibitions launched opposing £300m Aylesbury Vale plans

The first of three events takes place this afternoon.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 11:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 11:38 am

Parish council groups in Bucks have come together to oppose the construction of a £300 million 'mega prison' in Aylesbury Vale.

Edgcott and Grendon Underwood Parish Council members will be running 'stop mega prison now' exhibitions this week and next.

The sessions are designed to advise residents on how they can officially challenge plans to build a £300 million prison in Grendon Underwood.

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Grendon Springhill

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it planned to construct a new structure which would sit adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill.

This third Bucks jail in the same areas would be a huge building capable of housing 1,440 inmates, the Government says.

Estimated capacities for HMP Grendon and Springhill are around 200 and 300 inmates respectively.

Now, local council groups have organised three educational events encouraging people to challenge the government's plans.

Starting today (August 4), at Grendon Village Hall, three open sessions will run with the aim of providing information and guidance on how to block the government's planning application.

Ministerial approval was given to the MoJ back in June allowing the Government to move forward with its planning application.

Each event runs from 3pm to 7pm, the next event is on Friday at Edgcott Village Hall and the final exhibition is at Steeple Claydon Hall on August 10.

Barry Martindale the Grendon Underwood Parish Council Clerk and Peter Harper the Edgcott Parish Council chairman will be in attendance.

Organisers promise a friendly chat and a cup of tea as well as information on how to lodge an official planning objection.

The council groups have created 16 separate information sheets available to its constituents advising on specific reasons it objects to the construction of a mega prison in the area.

These complaints range from the impact on wildlife, the risk of flooding, the heritage of the area and additional traffic problems.

One specific issue the action group has is the MoJ choosing a greenfield area to build on rather than a brownfield space. It states the Government is ignoring its own Sustainable Development Strategy.

The action group believes the lack of public transport around the area will make it hard for inmates with young families to get access to the prison.

Ecological issues have been raised relating to the amount of travel by car that would be needed to reach the site as well.

Plans released last year state if the application is successful work on the building could begin in 2023 and create 600 jobs.