Mount bluepint could mean more prisoners

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PLANS have been set in motion that could see a new prison block built in Bovingdon.

Representatives from the Mount Prison and the Ministry of Justice will meet with the parish council on Monday to discuss the plans for new accommodation.

A spokesman from the MoJ said: “A pre-planning application to build a new accommodation block at HMP The Mount has been submitted.

“This has not, as yet, been developed into a full planning application.”

Currently the prison holds around 750 inmates in seven main blocks and one smaller block on the 27-acre site.

Peter Leech, who is a member of the independent monitoring board for the prison, said: “From what I’ve heard these are all just proposals at the moment.

“There is no desperate or urgent need to build more accommodation and I believe there is enough room on the existing site for a new block if they choose to build one.”

The prison first opened in 1987 as a young offenders institution and became a category C prison in 1989.

Earlier this year it was awarded a high performance rating under the Prison Rating System.

A report published by the independent monitoring board in February was mostly positive.

The planning meeting being held on Monday at 6.30pm in the Memorial Hall will discuss the proposals and will be open to the public.