Prison Set for Go-Ahead despite Village Objections

Article excerpt

A plan to build a prison for up to 800 inmates near two Staffordshire villages looks set for approval despite a massive campaign to stop it.

East Staffordshire Borough Council's planning committee will visit the site near the villages of Marchington and Draycott-in-the-Clay today before reaching a final decision.

Leaders of a Stop The Prison action group have urged councillors to oppose the scheme and try to force a public inquiry. A dossier of evidence supporting the action group's case has been sent to planners.

Premier Prison Service plans to develop a former Second World War United States military camp to provide a category B prison with a 200-place rehabilitation unit.

The scheme has the backing of HM Prison Service. A target has been set to have a prison with 600 places up and running next year and then extend it to take up to 800 inmates.

Parish councils in the rural area between Lichfield and Burton-on-Trent are mainly opposed to the plan.

Marchington Parish Council urged Deputy Prime Minister Mr John Prescott, in his role as Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, to call in the application for a public inquiry. …