Permission for prison's expansion with new running track for inmates

HMP Wayland

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

Permission has been unanimously granted for a Norfolk prison to build a new athletics track, all weather football pitch and extra housing for 122 new inmates. 

The expansion at HMP Wayland, near Watton, is part of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to increase the prison capacity across England and Wales by 18,000 inmates.

The changes to the category C jail - which already has more than 1,000 prisoners - would also see the construction of a new multi-faith worship and education building.

The scheme's approval was given at a Breckland Council planning committee meeting last week.

Conservative committee chair Nigel Wilkin said: “I actually had a visit to the prison… when I was chairman of Breckland, and I was really surprised. 

Nigel Wilkin, centre, who woke his neighbours, Mandy and David 'Scooby' Whitehair, and warned them o

Conservative Nigel Wilkin, chairman of Breckland Council's planning committee. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

“We just think ‘We lock guys away, that’s it, fine, we don’t have to have anything to do with them’.

“But I met some really terrific chaps, and it was unfortunate circumstances that got them there, and given the opportunity, they can turn their lives around. 

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“And this is part of that, with the buildings and the recreation facilities, it’s to let them get rehabilitated in their own ways."