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Prisons: West Lancashire

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, columns 82-3W, on prisons: construction, by what process (a) the National Offender Management Service and (b) his Department were made aware of the potential site for a Titan prison at Scarisbrick; which location in Scarisbrick was identified as a potential site; what information his Department holds on the present owner of the site; on what date his Department designated the site at Scarisbrick as a potential location for a Titan prison; and by whom that decision was taken. (281771)

In early 2008, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) commissioned site search agents to identify potential sites for “Titan” prisons in various parts of the country, including the North West.

Among the sites identified in the North-West was a 200 acre golf course at Southport Road, Scarisbrick, L40 8HB. This site was identified on 13 May 2008 by our site search agents but was considered unsuitable by them, an assessment that was subsequently endorsed by NOMS on 16 May 2008. The reason for this was that a golf course in a rural location did not meet the specific requirement for a site close to an urban conurbation with good transport links.

We do not hold information on the current owners of the site as it was rejected at a very early stage of the assessment process.