Michael Gove, secretary for Levelling Up and Housing, rejected the planning inspector’s recommendation that he should refuse planning for the 1,700-inmate HMP Gartree 2 prison.
The Goverment said the pressing demand for more modern prison places, creation of jobs, and benefits of improved bioversity from the project outweighed concerns about the local development plan not allowing for such a large-scale project.
During the construction phase around 100 jobs will be created, along with an injection of over £70m into the local economy,
Builder Wates is understood to be in line to build the planned Category B prison on land adjacent to the existing HMP Gartree, near Market Harborough.
It will consist of seven four-storey house blocks, each containing around 245 prisoners, two big workshops alongside a general services hub.
In support of the project the Ministry of Justice has argued that six new prisons need to be built – including Gartree – to keep up with demand, and warned the the system was operating at 97.5% capacity.