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Prisons: Barking and Dagenham

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the administrative costs to his Department of assessing contractors' applications to operate a prison at Beam Park West. (276318)

The administrative costs to manage the whole procurement process for Beam Park West are included in the overall budget estimate for the new prisons but have not been broken out specifically into the evaluation element as this is dependent on the procurement route used. More detail will be available on this once the procurement strategy has been published in the summer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many vehicles he estimates will require access to and egress from Beam Park West site during the construction of a prison there. (276319)

No assessment has yet been made. However, as required by the local planning authority, an environmental impact assessment will be undertaken and submitted as part of the planning application.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) pursuant to the statement of 27 April 2009, Official Report, columns 569-71, on prisons and probation (1) how many visits members of his Department have made to the Beam Park West site in connection with the construction of a prison; and when the first such visit took place; (276406)

(2) when a list of possible locations for a new prison was first drawn up by his Department; how many options considered were in Essex; and on what date the Beam Park West site was added to the list.

As part of the Capacity Programme, a number of site searches have been carried out to meet a range of requirements.

Following the publication of Lord Carter's report ‘Securing the future: Proposals for the efficient and sustainable use of custody in England and Wales’ in December 2007, a list of potential sites for 2,500 place “Titan” prisons was drawn up. This included 12 sites in Essex, but not Beam Park West.

The Beam Park West site was identified during an exercise to identify potential sites for a prison in London. This was undertaken jointly with the London Development Agency in autumn 2008.

As announced on 27 April, instead of building three 2,500 place prisons, we will now build five 1,500 place prisons. The Beam Park West site is one of two sites announced on 27 April for these new prisons.

Following the identification of the Beam Park West site as potentially suitable for prison development, National Offender Management Service officials have visited the site on two occasions, 20 January and 5 February this year.