Land Area Identified for the New Prison is NINE Times the Size of the Existing Facility
THE ‘HAPPL’ CAMPAIGN
Dear Residents of Inverness and the Highlands,
We are a group of concerned residents who are campaigning against the proposed site for the new Inverness prison. Whilst we absolutely recognise and support the social need for a new prison, the proposed site at Milton of Leys Is entirely unsuitable and alternative sites must be considered.
The planned site is effectively the ‘Gateway to the Highlands‘. We all know the feeling of driving up the A9 and arriving at Inverness. Coming over the hill and seeing the beautiful view of our City, Ben Wyvis and the Moray Firth. If this goes ahead local residents, visitors and tourists will be greeted by an expansive prison, and all of the disruption and additional security infrastructure such a facility will bring, both on their way in and out of the City. Regrettably secure institutions are a necessary evil however it is critical that due process is followed.
The Scottish Prison Service is an Agency of the Scottish Government; this is a critical aspect in our fight.
The Consultation Process for the Local Development Plan which ended in December 2013 did not ask for this location to be considered. The plan was published in its Final form late 2015. The location identified is not zoned for this type of development. This is the only vehicle in the legal framework which controls planning where there is a requirement to consult us, the voters, the taxpayers and the people who have to live with the planning mistakes for decades to come. Inverness is an awesome place to work, live and bring up families, we are duty bound to make sure it is not ruined through greed and poor choices for generations to come.
This is not nimbyism, this is about protecting our city from another huge planning mistake. The Scottish Government cited the development in the Milton of Leys area as an exemplar in relation to its impact to the local area and masterplan:
COMMENTS ON THE MASTERPLAN
In The Scottish Government Planning Advice Note, PAN 83, Masterplanning, September 2008, Rob Cowan comments:
“It will be a showpiece of urban design, presenting a form of layout very different to Scottish house-builders’ standard models. There are very few imaginative, alternative models of new residential development to be seen in Scotland, or indeed in the UK, so this will fill a real gap.
The degree of thought that has gone into the masterplan has been high…”
In 2009 there were 12 general areas which The Scottish Prison Service asked to be included as potential prison locations. If these locations were considered as appropriate then, why has this not been pursued?
We are focusing our efforts on a public campaign to inform a wider audience & to encourage attendance at the forthcoming Pre-Planning Consultation Meeting – CONFIRMED: Pre-Application Public Consultation Event – Thurs 26th May 2016, Inshes Church
There seems to be little known about the details, and having spoken to a considerable number of people a lot of local residents seem to be unaware of what is happening. What we do know is the land identified for this development is approximately 9 times the size of the existing prison.
There are facts that people need to be aware of:
- Inverness has only recently gained City Status, the investment this has attracted and positive publicity will be tarnished by this potential location.
- We need as many individual written ‘material objections’ as possible if this goes forward.
- Objections cannot be emotional, we are happy to support with how these need to be structured to remain relevant and have published information on this site and our Facebook page.
- We are effectively up against the Scottish Government however they cannot be allowed to usurp the democratic process.
- The Scottish elections are taking place, lobby your politicians, candidates, MSP’s, and MP’s.
- Both Fergus Ewing and Edward Mountain have spoken out against this location and we trust this support will continue after the election.
- Lobby your Community Councils to support.
Please don’t just assume that somebody else will deal with this, it’s a £60,000,000+ project, Government Agencies and big business is involved.
Contact Steve Gordon at info@invernessprisoncampaign.