§ Mr. C. Pannell
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is aware of the adverse reaction to his proposal to site a new prison off Whitehall Road, Leeds; whether he will indicate what public inquiry is to be held to ventilate this; and when;
(2) what acreage of the green belt the proposal to site a new prison off Whitehall Road, Leeds, infringes upon;
(3) whether he will explore the feasibility of rebuilding Armley prison on its present site.
§ Mr. R. Carr
A new local prison is needed to serve the courts in Leeds and surrounding areas. The Home Office has identified a site on the outskirts of the city within which a new prison and associated staff housing might be built, and has sought the preliminary views of the city council, as planning authority, on the possibility of developing the land for this purpose.
No detailed study has yet been made of the way in which the site might be 381W used if the proposal went ahead and it is not known at this stage precisely how much land would be needed.
If the Home Office decides to make a formal application for planning clearance this will be done in accordance with the normal rules governing proposed development by Government Departments which provide for reference of a disputed application to the Department of the Environment and, if necessary, for the holding of a public inquiry. There will, therefore, be ample opportunity for the local planning authority and local people to put forward their point of view.
The feasibility of redevelopment on the existing cramped site at Armley, Leeds, was considered and rejected before the search for an alternative site started.