Options for former prison site discussed at public meeting in Blundeston
08:00 14 April 2014
(C) Archant Norfolk 2014
Future uses of the vacant Blundeston prison site look set to become clearer within the next three months.
Various options for the site, near Lowestoft, will be progressed in coming weeks as agents acting of behalf of the Ministry of Justice intend to start marketing the land at the end of June.
Development of Blundeston prison, which had been in the village for more than 50 years up until it closed on December 13 last year, came under the spotlight at a public meeting organised by Blundeston and Flixton Parish Council on Saturday.
More than 50 people turned out, and afterwards parish council chairman Graham Wade said: “It was a good turn-out and we can take the ideas and options forward to form part of the planning information statement that is being worked on by Waveney District Council’s planning officers.”
Among the ideas discussed were retaining the prison’s existing all-weather sports pitch and gymnasium for village use; moving Blundeston Primary School onto the site; creating a “mixed use” site comprising a care home; using the prison farm to provide allotments for villagers and redeveloping the land for housing – which was largely opposed.
With 42 locals, seven parish councillors, four district and county councillors, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, Bob Blizzard, all in attendance, Mr Aldous said: “I think it was helpful to get some good, sensible ideas and look at how this marketing campaign should be pursued to make sure we get a use of this site that is in the best interests of the community.”