Demolition work begins on Blundeston Prison which once held infamous gangster Reggie Kray

Developer Badger Building has been given permission to build up to 140 houses on Blundeston Prison,

Developer Badger Building has been given permission to build up to 140 houses on Blundeston Prison, which is located near Lowestoft. Pictures: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

It was once home to some of the UK's most infamous prisoners.

Developer Badger Building has been given permission to build up to 140 houses on Blundeston Prison,

Developer Badger Building has been given permission to build up to 140 houses on Blundeston Prison, which is located near Lowestoft. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

East End gangster Reggie Kray and shoe-bomber Richard Reid all spent time behind bars at Blundeston Prison.

But now, the cell blocks they were once locked in, are being pulled down to make way for new homes.

Developer Badger Building has been given permission to build up to 140 houses on the site, which is located near Lowestoft.

A 60-bed care home and two shops are also planned for the former category C facility.


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Edward Gilder, land and planning manager for the developer, said the former governor's house and bachelor's quarters have already been pulled down. And demolition work is now underway on the prison's cell blocks.

'Inside the security fence, work is continuing on the demolition of the cell blocks and associated buildings,' Mr Gilder said.

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'This is a complicated and lengthy process involving the stripping of the insides prior to mechanical demolition with crushing jaws on large tracked machines.'

It will include cell number 116, which is said to have once held the infamous Reggie Kray.

He was sent to Blundeston after receiving a life sentence at the Old Bailey in London for double murder.

Construction work on the first of the new homes is planned to start later this year.

And in a 'few weeks' time' Mr Gilder said a more detailed application will be made for the next phase of housing.

Blundeston pre-school has already relocated to the site and is operating from the old officer's club.

Once complete, the development will include a mixture of detached and semi-detatched properties, with the first homes available for purchase in 2019.

The prison was sold to Badger Building for £3m in 2013 after the Ministry of Justice decided to close the facility.

For 50 years it had been home to more than 500 inmates and employed 230 staff at the time of its closure.

Last year, permission was given for the public to take part in a series of guided tours prior to its demolition.

Former inmates include shoe-bomber Richard Reid, who is believed to have served time at HMP Blundeston when he was younger.

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