The Ministry of Justice is seeking the views of residents and businesses on proposed plans for 2 new prisons in Wethersfield on land at the RAF site. If the proposals were to go ahead then they would hope to begin construction in around 2023. They would contribute over £70 million to the local economy and create over 1,200 new jobs, while providing safe, secure and decent prison places. In addition to providing construction apprenticeships and work placements; a minimum of 25% of the project spend would be within the local area, and a minimum of 30% would be spent with small and medium enterprises. They are at the early stages of their proposals and, if they decide to proceed with an application, the two prisons would be built in the Braintree District at the Wethersfield Air Base site. The prison blocks will have 4 floors, with 60 prisoners on each. The prison will have 7 separate house blocks (or living accommodation). The overall capacity of each prison is 1,715. Each prison will also have support buildings. These will include a reception area, kitchens, workshops, a visits hall and offices. These buildings will range from 1 floor high to 4 floors high. Their plans also include dog kennels, which will only be used in the daytime when prison dogs are on site. The dogs go home with their handlers each night. There will also be some polytunnels for gardening, and an outdoor family area that can be used by visitors and prisoners during visiting times. Each prison will have about 500 parking spaces for staff and visitors. The whole prison site will be surrounded by secure fencing and a road for security patrols.
Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposed-new-prisons-inwethersfield-public-consultation The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 8 November 2021.