The opportunity to make Blundeston prison a community asset must not be “squandered”, Waveney MP Peter Aldous has said.

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He was speaking after advising a government minister that local people’s views must be considered when plans are drawn up for the future of the prison, which closed in December.

The fate of the vacant site is set to become clearer in September when agents acting of behalf of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) start marketing the land – not late June as originally suggested.

Last month, potential uses for the prison came under the spotlight at a public meeting organised by Blundeston and Flixton Parish Council.

Mr Aldous said that issues raised by the parish council and villagers were being fed back to Waveney District Council, which would be contributing to a planning information document being prepared by the MOJ’s agents, Jones Lang La Salle.

In a letter to Jeremy Wright, parliamentary under-secretary of state (prison and rehabilitation), Mr Aldous informed him about the issues raised at last month’s meeting.

“He highlighted the importance of all property belonging to the MOJ being identified – given existing concerns about other property in the area.

Mr Aldous said: “A flexible approach should be adopted to the marketing campaign, which is now due to start in September, with the property being sold either as a whole or in lots. The closure of HMP Blundeston was a major blow to those who worked there as well as the local community. The sale of the property and its future uses presents an opportunity to leave a positive lasting legacy for Blundeston and the area to the north of Lowestoft,” he added. “It is important that this is not squandered.”

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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