Two 'mega-prisons' set to be built near RAF airbase in Essex

Aerial shots of Wethersfield airbase in Braintree Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two 'mega prisons' holding thousands of inmates could be built around an RAF airbase in Essex, according to Government plans.

The Ministry of Justice has published proposals for the new jails at Wethersfield airbase in Braintree.

The site will hold adult male inmates in two prisons, each with a capacity of 1,715.

One will hold category B prisoners in a training prison. This means it will hold long-term and high-security prisoners.

The other will hold category C inmates in a resettlement prison. These will be lower-risk prisoners who will be prepared for release.

This could also see some inmates released on temporary licence during their sentence.

Inmate capacity at prisons has been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the new plans will ramp up prison places back to full operating capacity.

The Ministry of Justice is hoping to hear from residents and businesses about the plans in a public consultation which ends on 8 November.