Norfolk prison to expand with new running track for inmates

HMP Wayland Prison. Picture: Ian Burt

Plans have been submitted to expand HMP Wayland Prison. - Credit: Archant

Plans to expand a Norfolk prison include a new athletics track and all weather football pitch. 

Proposals have been submitted to build a new block housing extra inmates at Wayland Prison in Griston, near Watton.

The new cells are part of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to increase the prison capacity for England and Wales by 18,000 inmates.

HMP Wayland

Expansion of HMP Wayland is part of a nationwide increase in prison places. - Credit: Ministry of Justice

Expansion of the category C jail would also see additional prisoner amenities including construction of a new multi-faith worship and education building and sports facilities.

The new prayer hall with ablution facilities and a chaplains office is said to be needed to “service the growing population of multi-faith users within the prison”.

It will replace the current multi-faith facility and will accommodate up to 140 inmates.

Plans for HMP Wayland

Plans for HMP Wayland including running track (1), football pitch (2), new block for 122 inmates (3) and new multi-faith prayer hall and education centre (4). - Credit: Ministry of Justice

As well as an exercise yard for inmates of the new block, there would also be a fully surfaced full-size running track with 100m sprint section and all-weather five-a-side football pitch.

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HMP Wayland is already one of the largest prisons in East Anglia with more than 1,000 category C male prisoners, the vast majority of whom are serving lengthy sentences, housed across 13 units.

The plans would see the closure and demolition of existing ageing F & H wings that currently hold 80 prisoners and construction of a new two storey 122 bed block.

Multi-faith centre planned for HMP Wayland.

Multi-faith centre planned for HMP Wayland. - Credit: Ministry of Justice

Prisoners would be housed in a mix of 99 standard cells, six double cells, four accessible cells and six for inmates with low mobility, and one gated cell.

“The prison population is forecast to rise significantly during the 2020s, and projected demand will soon outstrip supply,” the MoJ states in a consultation document submitted to Breckland Council.

“The latest criminal justice system demand modelling now points to capacity pressures in the next few years being even more substantial than previously anticipated. 

Existing accommodation block at HMP Wayland. 

Existing accommodation block at HMP Wayland. - Credit: Archant

“Despite Covid-19 providing a temporary reduction in demand, we are now witnessing demand starting to pick up again and it is expected that it will reach pre-Covid levels within the next year.”

The MoJ said if its planning application is successful it anticipates “the completion of the works and occupation of the new building in autumn of 2024”.