PLANS for an outline application to build a prison in Wrexham have gone online.
Details of the proposals are available by logging onto the Wrexham Council website.
Land earmarked for the prison is the former Firestone factory site at Bridge Road on the industrial estate. It is estimated more than 760 people will work at the jail.
The application is listed as including an external area with a maximum floorspace of 76,370 square metres within a secure perimeter fence together with access, parking, a visitor/support building, energy centre and landscaping.
Among the documents which make up the application, the transport and access statement says the prison is designed to accommodate about 2,100 prisoners.
The jobs listed include psychologists, guards, managers, administrators, health care employees, works and kitchen staff.
A planning statement reads: “The applicant held a preview event.
“The exhibition material confirmed the prison will be built to Category B standards but will hold predominantly Category C prisoners.
“Category B prisoners are those for who the very highest condition of security are not necessary but for who escape must be made very difficult.
“Category C are those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who do not have the resource and will to make a determined escape attempt.”
Meanwhile, a leading Wrexham councillor said yesterday he was unsure how many prisoners would be housed eventually in Wrexham’s proposed super prison.
Speaking at the latest Wrexham Town Centre Forum, Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships and collaboration, said with new legislation being introduced by the Ministry of Justice – stipulating that prisoners would serve the final part of their sentences at their local prison – he was unsure as to what the total capacity of the Wrexham prison would be.
Asked by Haydn Taylor, of Brook Street, whether the council could confirm if the capacity of the prison might exceed the 2,000 originally stated, Cllr Jones said: “A new policy is being implemented for 2014/15 that means prisoners will serve the final part of their term at the nearest prison to their home address.
“The effect on the prison in Wrexham is yet to be established, but the prison sentence landscape is changing.
“There could be 2,100 prisoners in Wrexham, there could be 2,000. I’m am not yet sure.”
Wrexham Council leader Neil Rogers said: “Several meetings have taken place with the Ministry of Justice and Abenbury Community Council and we have compiled a list of people we need to speak to.
“We fully realise we need to speak to people in the voluntary sector, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, our partners in the public sector, Glyndwr University, and of course, North Wales Police.”
Abenbury Community Council chairman Ray Squire said: “I contacted the Ministry of Justice and they could not comment on whether the prison may house Category A inmates, even though it is being built to Category B.
“I met with Cllr Rogers and Cllr Jones last week and showed them pictures of an Australian prison which was orginally four stories high but was increased to six stories at a later date.
“Most prisons all over the world are built in the same way, which allows for increase in capacity. This prison will be expected to last for 60 to 100 years so it is inevitable the capacity will have to increase.”
He added: “We are also not hearing how many jobs are to go to local people. The bottom line is this prison needs to employ the people of Wrexham.”
A Prison Service spokesman said: “The new prison site will provide a real boost to the local economy in North Wales and Wrexham County Borough Council will consult fully with local residents on the planning application.
“Subject to planning permission, the new prison in Wales will have around 2,100 places.”