A community's anger as they vow to fight plans to build two prisons in their village

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

Protestors have taken to the streets vowing to fight plans to build two 'mega prisons' in their Essex village.

The Ministry of Justice published proposals for two new jails at Wethersfield airbase in Braintree back in September- but the public consultation runs out Monday (November 8). That - protestors argue is an 'incredibly short consultation period imposed on us' as campaign organiser Michelle Chapman told ITV News Anglia:

"Notoriously parish councils take time to react to things and I'm sure the MOD know this so in that space of time meetings have been arranged and thats it - thats as far as we have got so really we needed more time to form an appropriate response."

Plans outlining the site of the two 'mega prisons' Credit: Ministry of Justice

According to the plans 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.

At the time the plans were published, the Prisons Minister Victoria Atkins said:

"We believe that, following detailed feasibility work, the land next to Wethersfield airbase would be a good location for two new prisons as part of the prison estates strategy. Our plans, if successful, would bring many benefits to the local community, such as hundreds of jobs during construction, careers within the prison sector and an increased spend in local businesses."

Aerial shots of Wethersfield airbase in Braintree.

But some residents of Wethersfield feel otherwise.

"I'm concerned about the increase in traffic on the road and the fact that the children are going to be in danger if the roads are really busy.. It is very busy first thing in the morning and at school pick up particularly."

Caroline Shingleton - Headteacher, Wethersfield Primary School

Credit: ITV News Anglia

The consultation closes to the public at midnight on Monday (8 November)

The Prisons Service says it will listen to local views and insists no final decision on the schemes have yet been made.