Campaigners' reactions after plans for huge 'super prison' near Harborough were rejected

As we reported last night, there were huge cheers from protesters after councillors voted to reject plans for a new high-security 1,700-inmate male prison by the existing 57-year-old jail at Gartree

By Philip Hibble
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 9:36 am
Protesters outside the meeting
Protesters outside the meeting

Campaigners believe that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have no grounds for appeal after last night's decision to reject its plans for a superjail' near Market Harborough.

As we reported last night, there were huge cheers from protesters after councillors voted to reject plans for a new high-security 1,700-inmate male prison by the existing 57-year-old jail at Gartree.

Click here to read the full story: Huge cheers as councillors vote against plans for huge £300 million 'superjail' near HarboroughBefore the meeting, planning officers at Harborough District Council had recommended that the controversial plans should be approved, despite the huge opposition from parish councils at Great Bowden, Lubenham, Foxton and Gumley as well as Harborough district councillors like Phil Knowles.

Protesters outside the meeting

And 364 objections were sent to the council amid growing fears over mounting traffic, growing pollution, poor air quality and loud noise. But the MOJ argued that the plans would bring great investment to the area.

Protester Katherine Winterson said the right decision had been made, adding: "The MOJ can't possibly appeal on this decision. They now need to go away and rethink their whole strategy on where to build super prisons.

"Building in an area just because they own the land is not a good enough reason."

Fellow campaigner Kay Hogget added: "I'm absolutely delighted by the refusal. It's heartening to see common sense prevailing.

"The HDC planning committee seem to have listened to local feeling and recognised that it is completely the wrong place for a massive prison."

Cllr Phil Knowles, who spoke against the plans, said: “I am delighted that the committee voted to refuse this application.

“My opposition has been clear from day one. I said that I struggled to see any benefits to the community. I had real concerns about so many things including traffic, environmental impacts and much more.

"I hope the MOJ accept this decision with good grace and look elsewhere in the country for a site”