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Prisons Minister David Hanson announces new Welsh prison

David Hanson

05 February 2009

The site for a new prison in Wales was announced today by Prisons Minister David Hanson. The chosen location is the Dynamex Friction site near Caernarfon in North Wales.

This follows an extensive four-month consultation on a shortlist of four sites, which ran from August to November 2008.

Although the site has been selected, the timing of building the new prison has not yet been determined. The current prison capacity programme already includes additional prison places in Wales as a result of the planned expansion of HMP Parc in Bridgend, South Wales.  However, Ministers have decided that the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) should also acquire a suitable site in North Wales.

The decision takes into account comments from the consultation, demand for prison places, site characteristics, location, planning policy, and the views of the local planning authority.

Negotiations are under way with the site's owners and we are submitting an application for outline planning permission shortly.

David Hanson said:

'I am very grateful for all the comments that have been received since the publication of the shortlist in August. This is an important announcement for the people of Wales. A new prison would help bring considerable economic benefits to this part of Wales as well as providing much needed additional places for us.

'We will open preliminary negotiations with the owners of the site, and we will also prepare a planning application for submission in respect of the new prison in consultation with Gwynedd Council.'

Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd., the current owners of the site, said:

'Following a lengthy evaluation process and an open consultation exercise, the Ministry of Justice have today indicated that the former Dynamex Friction Site at Caernarfon represents their preferred location for additional prison capacity in Wales.

'Bluefield Caernarfon Limited recognises the unique nature of the site and the economic importance of this proposal to the town of the Caernarfon and the surrounding area. Bluefield Caernarfon Limited indicated during the consultation process that it would be willing to enter into positive discussion with the Ministry of Justice should they deem the site appropriate for a prison and should Gwynedd Council be supportive of such a proposal at this location.

'The development of a prison at this site will have a positive economic impact on this area, providing widespread support for local businesses and suppliers and generating many jobs in the future.'