From the Press: New Prison Site Identified 

The Inverness Courier and The Press & Journal have been reporting on the potential new prison location.

Stratton was on the original call for sites but this is now the preferred location as we understand it. This is an industrial site previously zoned for industrial use and far more appropriate.

We can only hope their source is reliable! Progress being made none the less.

 

Approaching Inverness – A Strategy and Design Guide

Here is a document available for download on the highland Council website. The ‘Gateways’ Section is interesting, it’s fair to say that a prison is not mentioned as a Gateway Feature. Worth a read, some of it very good!

Download the PDF file here: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/16291/strategy_and_design_guide_-_part_1

SOURCE: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/1251/approaching_inverness_strategy_and_design_guide

 

 

NEWS: SPS pausing the planning consultation for Milton Of Leys

WE HAVE SOME NEWS, no need to attend at Inshes Church tomorrow!

SPS Statement on the Consultation Process on Proposed Prison Site for HMP Highland

SPS are today pausing the planning consultation process on the proposed prison site at Milton of Leys to ascertain if a viable alternative option is available for the location of HMP Highland. As a consequence, the second public consultation meeting proposed for Tuesday 28 June at the Inches [sic] Church, Inverness is postponed. SPS will progress an assessment of an alternative option which has been brought forward by the Milton of Leys site owner and which had not previously been available as a potential prison site. However, the full assessment of this site is not yet commenced and should this option not subsequently prove viable, SPS have a commitment to progress the planning application on the Milton of Leys site.

It is anticipated that the assessment of the potential alternative site can be concluded within the next four to six months and a further statement will be made in due course.

ENDS
Contact: Tom Fox, Head of Corporate Affairs
0131 244 8463
spsnews@sps.pnn.gov.uk

Fergus Ewing MSP, we are extremely grateful for your support and guidance in achieving this position.

 

CALL TO ACTION – Friday 24th June 2016

Download and print this letter here: HAPPL Consultation Letter

Residents of Inverness

Dear Resident,

As you may be aware our campaign group was formed when we learnt of the possibility of a new prison planned for Inverness being located at the entrance to the city on the same access as the slip road for Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle and adjacent to the Tourist Information Centre as you arrive at the city. It is also going to be directly opposite a thriving and expanding major housing development, MOL Primary School and Scotland’s Housing Expo. It is a wholly ludicrous and inappropriate location.

It was not zoned as such in the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan 2015 (IMFLDP) nor was it referred to in the legally required consultation in this regard. We have written to our MP, MSP’s, local councillors and officials and have had extensive media coverage. We held a packed public meeting with not one hand raised in support of the potential location. In 2009 The Scottish Prison Service carried out a review of 12 potential areas in Inverness which they asked Highland Council to consider. Only one of these was referred to in the consultation process with no site being approved for inclusion in the IMFLDP. Their own Drivers Jonas Assessment Document found that the MOL site failed their very specific criteria and yet they are now pursuing. We are awaiting a response from the SPS CEO for a requested pause in the process following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament with him and Fergus Ewing MSP.

In respect of the immediate area adjacent to the proposed site, 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…”

We propose the following draft timetable and actions:

  • We continue to hold our elected members to account from Highland Council to the Scottish Parliament; they have a duty to represent us, please keep emailing, writing, calling and networking.
    We attend the second consultation meeting on the 28th of June and continue to reinforce that we do not accept their ideology that Milton of Leys is an appropriate site for all of the reasons they themselves published in their own Drivers Jonas Assessment and everything we have previously outlined through the media, on our Facebook and our Website.
  • The core group will meet with our Planning Consultant to discuss our material consideration objections for any potential future planning application and to agree appropriate responses on the Colliers/SPS pre-planning consultations.
  • Assuming this proposal gets to the planning stage (likely to be submitted early July 2016) we will host a public meeting/workshop to assist individuals to write material consideration objections to the proposal.
  • On the day of the planning application hearing (27th September 2016, 8th November 2016 or 13th December 2016) we will hold a peaceful PROTEST outside Highland Council Offices to have our voices heard and will attend the meeting in the public gallery.

This will depend on whether our elected members decide to approve the application however the fight will not be over if they do, we will continue…….

We do understand that politicians have of course rightly been focussing on the EU referendum but life goes on now and Colliers/SPS are clearly well versed in timing of applications (This bombshell was dropped on us during purdah when the Scottish Parliament was in recess prior to the elections and their second consultation is announced two days before the EU referendum) a cynical view would be that this was deliberate….. Edward Mountain MSP has also been in touch and is working to have this ludicrous proposal stopped but we need a definitive answer and a plan.

The Inverness City Vision states that ‘the A9 corridor operates at a strategic level linking the Highlands and the wider landscape setting; it presents an opportunity for the city to portray itself at an international scale. It is a gateway. It announces the moment, for many of ‘coming home’. Is this the vision for Inverness city, after the long journey up the A9 we want residents and visitors to experience? As you arrive the landscape opens up with Easter Ross and Ben Wyvis and down to the stunning vista of the city and the Moray Firth, this cannot be allowed to be blighted. We can do better than this, we have a responsibility to future generations.

Many thanks for taking the time to read our letter, we hope to see you at the consultation.

Yours faithfully,

Steve Gordon

HAPPL Campaign

 

 

EMAIL received from SPS – 23rd June 2016

EMAIL FROM SPS, make of it what you will………

Thank you for your e-mail of 7 June 2016.

The concerns you raise relate to the information provided as part of the planning process the SPS is currently progressing in respect of the Milton of Leys site for HMP Highland.

As required by the procedure for a ‘Major’ planning application, the planning authority were notified of the SPS’s intention to submit a planning application by the submission of a Proposal of Application Notice. This was submitted on 22nd March 2016 and gives a twelve week period during which the authority can make arrangements for the processing of the application and the applicant can engage in a series of consultations with statutory bodies and, importantly, the public. The requirements for and extent of consultations has been agreed with the planning authority.

A Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) application is being prepared. This is likely to be submitted in early July 2016.

There is a statutory 4-month determination period for such ‘Major’ planning applications. The application will go to the South Planning Applications Committee, which is due to sit on the 27th September, 8th November and 13th December (there is no October meeting).

I understand from your comments that you considered there were contradictions in the information exchange at the community council. I would like to reassure you that it is not the intention of the SPS to provide anything other than clear, consistent information in relation to the new build prison. I would therefore urge you to use the SPS website which provides written information on our intentions.

With regards to the commentary on social media, I can shed no light on the remarks made and would refer you back to the paragraph above on the planning process.

Kind Regards

Teresa

TERESA MEDHURST

Director of Strategy & Innovation

(sent on her behalf by Janice Reid, Executive Personal Assistant)

e-mail: Teresa.Medhurst@sps.gov.uk

 

POEM – Modern Art

Let’s make the gateway pretty
Let’s put up some modern art
We’re catering for tourists
So we’d better look the part

We can’t have people thinking
We don’t care about our town
We can’t have them drive all this way
For us to let them down

We need to make them sit up
And take notice of this city
We don’t want them to think
That we’re deserving of their pity

So let’s build something different
Something they can’t ignore
Let’s put up a new monument
Along the Beauly shore

Or how about a marker stone
As they come from the west?
Something to celebrate the fact
That we’re one of the best

Perhaps some kind of statue
On the road from Aberdeen?
Some flowers on Longman roundabout
To make the landscape green?

What about a tilting pier
On the riverside?
That will bring them flocking
At the rising of the tide

Or maybe we’ll just build a prison
That would look just fine
At the highest viewpoint
As they drive up the A9

© Sandra Proctor 2016

Download a printable version here (PDF File): HAPPL Campaign – Modern Art