Wrexham Council puts forward two potential prison sites

Reporter:

Matt Sims

TWO sites in Wrexham have been put forward by the council as potential locations for a prison, it has been confirmed.

A total of six sites in North Wales have been submitted by local authorities to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) which is looking to build a 1,500 capacity jail in either the North West of England or North Wales.

Wrexham Council has confirmed that land at the former Firestone factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate is one of its two potential locations.

The local authority is refusing to confirm the second site, although Mike Mullis, business manager for the North Wales Criminal Justice Board, has said it is also on the industrial estate.

Back in December, Wrexham Council said preliminary searches into suitable land in the county had revealed the former Owens Corning plant on the industrial estate as a potential location along with the ex-Firestone site.

The other potential locations put forward by local authorities in North Wales are the former Anglesey Aluminium Factory in Holyhead, the former BP site at Rhosgoch, also on Anglesey, the former Morfa military camp at Tywyn, in Gwynedd, and the old Greengates farm complex near St Asaph Business Park, in Denbighshire.

Mr Mullis’s organisation has worked closely with the local authorities to submit potential locations to the MoJ.

He said: “There is a list of six sites that have been forwarded by local authorities in North Wales.”

Asked about the second site in Wrexham, he said: “I can’t comment. Basically the council don’t want to advertise it too much, probably because they are still in talks with the landowners.”

Private landowners are also able to submit their own bids to the Ministry of Justice, who are set to publish a shortlist of their preferred sites later this year.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “The government continues its search for sites suitable for 1,500-place prisons.

"The search is focused on our priority areas of London, North Wales, the North West and West Yorkshire.

"After carrying out a suitability assessment of the sites we will publish a shortlist of preferred sites later this year.”

The Welsh Affairs Committee of MPs has this week said there is an urgent need for a prison in North Wales and this ought to be prioritised by the UK government.

See full story in the Leader

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