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Prisons: Coltishall

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) on what date his Department's final decision to acquire the site of RAF Coltishall for conversion into a prison was taken; and on what date construction work for conversion of the buildings commenced; (277249)

(2) on what date his Department (a) decided to acquire, (b) acquired and (c) took unencumbered possession of RAF Coltishall; and on what date (i) construction on the site began and (ii) he expects the first prisoners to be received at HM Prison Coltishall.

In response to Lord Carter's report, “Securing the Future: Proposals for the Efficient and Sustainable Use of Custody in England and Wales” in January 2008 Ministers agreed to the acquisition of the former RAF Coltishall site in Norfolk for conversion to a prison.

The site had previously been under consideration by the Home Office as immigration detention centre since 2006 and the Ministry of Justice acquired the site from the UK Border Agency in March 2008.

The work which did not require planning approval began in April 2008. Work requiring approval began in February 2009.

The prison is due to receive the first 259 prisoners in November 2009 and become fully operational by spring 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the (a) annualised capital and (b) annual revenue cost of each prisoner place at HM Prison Coltishall throughout its planned lifetime. (277274)

Work is currently being undertaken to establish and approve detailed running costs for the new prison at Coltishall.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department will pay to (a) the Ministry of Defence and (b) other freehold and leasehold owners of the land on which HM Prison Coltishall will be sited in each financial year in which payments will be made. (277275)

The Ministry of Justice owns the Coltishall site outright, and so there are no fees payable in terms of freehold and leasehold of the land.