Plans to expand HMP Hindley in Wigan to house more prisoners set to be approved

080622 HMP Hindley, Wigan, Google maps
Credit: Google Earth

Plans are being discussed to expand a prison in Wigan to house more than a thousand offenders.

Two new cell blocks will be added to HMP Hindley to house 494 prisoners along with two new car parks - with nearly 500 spaces- to meet the rising demand.

The prison and young offender institution (YOI), located in Bickershaw , currently houses 640 offenders.

It is part of an expansion programme being carried out by the Ministry of Justice.

Credit: Google earth

Also included in the blueprint are schemes the government says will help boost rehabilitation and reduce reoffending.

It also wants to improve security and offer additional training to help offenders find employment upon release.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Plans to expand HMP Hindley as part of our £4bn programme will enhance access to support services and help to maintain family ties, which are vital to reducing reoffending."

Wigan Council previously said that this application would create inappropriate development in a Green Belt area and that very special circumstances would need to be highlighted for it to be approved.

However, a report now suggests that harm is "significantly limited" due to the existence of the current prison site, fence line and buildings, the retention of trees and landscaping and additional new landscaping.

A report also suggests that this expansion is needed in order to meet increased levels of demand in the next decade.

A planning statement said: "The prison population is currently forecast to increase over the next 10 years, reaching unprecedented levels by the end of the decade.

"The MoJ and its executive agency, HMPPS are embarking on the most ambitious programme of prison expansion in over a century, delivering 20,000 additional prison places through a portfolio of programmes and projects representing an investment of £3.8 billion.

"These new places will be delivered through a programme that offers the taxpayer value for money and will also support suppliers and builders across the country.

"As part of this programme a need has been identified to provide additional accommodation at Category C Prisons."

The Planning Committee, upon making their decision in Wigan Town Hall on July 12, would request £100,000 from the applicants towards playing pitch improvement works in the borough and a £2500 contribution towards monitoring of the travel plan for the development.

The plans have been recommended for approval.