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What's been happening

Update of 13th May 2022

As promised, an update after our meeting with our barristers…..
Chorley Borough Council have appointed their barristers and ours are now in direct communication with them. CBC have requested further surveys to contest the MoJ (not a noise survey).
We discussed potential witnesses. They talked us through the inquiry process, what is expected of us and confirmed Iain Crossland is unable to give evidence.
We’ll be busy over the next few days but I’ll try to update again as soon as we have any more information.
CBC now have the "statement of case" and will amend accordingly to ensure we are not over sharing too early in the process. This will be returned on Monday to ensure the deadline is met.
Today was a big confidence boost, they were very impressed with the information collated and supplied by everyone.

We can win this!!!

Update of 12th May 2022

A little update for you.
The deadline for objections to be sent to the planning inspectorate has now passed. We are in receipt of 135 of them, all of them are strong and add to the campaign. We are aware of some that are missing so will chase that up tomorrow.
The next deadline is one for the committee. We need to write a statement of case. Basically a document outlining our objection and what evidence we are providing in the inquiry (the actual evidence doesn’t need submitting until June). This document is almost complete, just a few final tweaks and this needs submitting by Monday 16th May. On Wednesday 18th May there is a Case Management hearing. All the main parties are included in this, including the committee BUT today we found out we have a Barrister to work with us, courtesy of Advocate DX!!!! Superb news and again adds weight to our campaign.
We’ll be busy over the next few days but I’ll try to update again as soon as we have any more information.
A massive THANK YOU to everyone who submitted objections as part of the application and to those who submitted objections as part of the appeal. The support this campaign has received from our small rural community has been, and continues, to be incredible.
An introductory video call with the Barristers has been arranged for 1.30pm on Friday 13th May 2022.

Update of 14th April 2022

Ulnes Walton Action Group's own Paul was interviewed by Radio Lancashire today. CLICK HERE to listen

Update of 11th April 2022

It has been confirmed that the Ministry of Justice is appealing against Chorley Borough Councils decision to refuse planning permission. The 9th May is the deadline date for objections against the appeal. To make comments online go to: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk and use the last seven digits of the following case reference
APP/D2320/W/22/3295556
More detail and information is on Ulnes Walton Action Group's latest leaflet CLICK HERE to see it.
Its also worth reading the Lancashire Evening Post article of 28th March, CLICK HERE

Updated 22nd December 2021


Image: Lancashire Evening Post

Lancashire Evening Post

Plan for 'super prison' on Chorley and Leyland border is rejected.
Proud villagers & supporters seen beside the Green Belt in Ulnes Walton.

Update of 21st December 2021

Decision Day Chorley Borough Council debate 21/01028/OUTMAJ - HM Prison Wymott, Moss Lane, Ulnes Walton, Leyland, PR26 8LW
Among the folk who spoke were: Alan Platt - Ward Councillor (CLICK HERE for speech)
Paul Doddenhof - Parish Councillor (CLICK HERE for speech)
Emma Curtis - Local Resident (CLICK HERE for speech)
Paul Parker - Local Resident (CLICK HERE for speech)
Councillors Alan Whittaker and Martin Boardman also made noteworthy speeches. The meeting can be viewed by clicking here. (BE AWARE! There was a fault with the sound from those giving speeches remotely.)

The result, (taken from Chorley Borough Council): DECISION - REFUSAL OF OUTLINE PP

For the following reasons:

  1. The proposed development would have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purpose of including land within it than the existing development on that part of the site that is previously developed and would encroach onto open countryside and is inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Substantial weight attaches to the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and further harm arising here by reason of the impact of the proposed development on the openness of the Green Belt and encroachment. The benefits associated with the proposed development would not clearly outweigh the resulting harm and, therefore, do not constitute, individually or cumulatively, very special circumstances required if inappropriate development is to be approved in the Green Belt in accordance with paragraph 148 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
  2. The proposed development would have an unacceptable impact on highway safety by virtue of the increased traffic movements and inadequate highway infrastructure, contrary to paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework and policy BNE1 of the Chorley Local Plan 2012 - 2026.
  3. The potential noise nuisance and disturbance associated with the vehicular traffic movements that would be generated throughout the use of the development would result in a harmful impact on the amenity of residents in the locality contrary to policy BNE1 of the Chorley Local Plan 2012 - 2026.

Please Note: The proposal would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area nor does it comply with the development plan and therefore does not comprise sustainable development. There were no amendments to the scheme, or conditions which could reasonably have been imposed, which could have made the development acceptable and it was therefore not possible to approve the application. The Local Planning Authority has therefore implemented the requirement of Paragraph 38 of the NPPF.

This decision has been made having regard to the policies of the Development Plan which comprises the Adopted Central Lancashire Core Strategy (2012) and the Adopted Chorley Local Plan 2012-2026 and all other relevant planning policy and guidance including National Policy (the Framework), supplementary planning guidance and supplementary planning documents and Corporate documents of the Council. (Source: Chorley Borough Council, 22 December 2021.)

Update of 17th December 2021

The action group committee has received confirmation that we are allowed an additional speaker on Tuesday evening (21 December 2021). The speakers will be:
Alan Platt - Ward Councillor (allowed 5 mins)
Paul Doddenhof - Parish Councillor (allowed 3 minutes)
Emma Curtis - Local Resident (allowed 3 minutes)
Paul Parker - Local Resident (allowed 3 minutes)
Not a great deal of time on an application of this size, therefore, the 4 of us will be meeting on Saturday to ensure the topics we are covering do not clash. Every second counts!!!!
We are in daily communication with the planning team and the democratic services department.
We will cover as many of the major issues we possibly can but if you have something specific that is not mentioned, it's not because we haven't given every objection a great amount of consideration, it's purely down to time constraints and mentioning the points that give us the greatest amount of weight behind getting it refused.
The 10 committee members continue to give every spare second of their time to this campaign and I would like to personally thank them for their continued efforts.
We remain positive that the right decision will be made on Tuesday.
We can do this!
Em and the team

Update of 16th December 2021

Ulnes Walton Action Group responded to the GMEU comments, CLICK HERE to see it.

Update of 14th December 2021

Some additional information has become available from recent documents submitted by the MoJ.
In a previous transport assessment there is a statement of the following ‘it is anticipated that 100% of visitors will arrive by car due to the rural location’. In the most recent highways document, the MoJ have negotiated a contribution of £100,000 a year for 5 years to increase the bus service to every 30 minutes. £50,000 contribution to upgrade the route from Pump House Lane to Nixon lane to a cycle path and £486,000 to improve the junction of Southport Road and Ulnes Walton Lane to have traffic lights and widen the road. All of this to support the expected 7 (yes just 7) members of staff that MAY travel by train to disembark at Croston railway station!!!!
What an excellent way to spend our taxes!!!
This DOES NOT include the contribution required for the suggested traffic calming measures.
Now let’s not forget the recent £7,000,000, yes 7 million pounds it has cost to upgrade the boiler house recently that will be totally demolished if this application gets approval.
Em

Update of 11th December 2021

Katherine Fletcher MP mentions the proposed new Prison in the House Of Commons (See Q's to the Ministry of Justice about proposed new prison in Ulnes Walton

Update of 30th November 2021

I wanted to provide a quick update as I'm conscious the action group team are working incredibly hard behind the scenes but you may be unaware of the developments so far.
We have received communication that there is a special planning meeting planned for the 21st December. At the planning meeting only 3 people will be allowed to speak in addition to a spokesperson from the MoJ and the planning committee members.
This will be: a borough councillor; a member of our parish council; and a member of the public.
The Action Group have submitted an objection
The MoJ have sent a response to Sport England re the sports pitch
I have replied to the MoJ and included the recent surveillance issue regarding the drones. I have spoken to Janet from Sport England and she has subsequently reconfirmed their objection still stands.
Iain Crossland has confirmed that the proposed planning meeting will go ahead if they receive a response from LCC Highways, they are currently in communication with them.
The team have submitted additional information regarding red listed, protected species in our area that would be affected if the development goes ahead.
Off the back of this the Ecology department have issued a further document including time frames ‘when’ and ‘when not’ development can take place and further mitigations to protect the species we have in our area - a positive result.
We have made contact with our parish councils in the wider community and they too are submitting their objections.
I have been in touch with SBRC and provided our objection document which they have found extremely useful.
We will be arranging a further meeting with our local MP Katherine Fletcher for an update from parliament.
Our objection document has been sent to the entire Chorley planning committee, including reserves.
We will continue to campaign against this proposed development right up the meeting time.
For anyone who still hasn't submitted their objection PLEASE do so, it's not too late!
TOGETHER WE CAN STOP THIS!
Best regards
Emma and Team

Update of 19th November 2021

This afternoon, Paul and Emma had a virtual meeting with Katherine Fletcher MP.
After the introductions, Katherine explained she cannot influence local councillors, they are best placed to make planning decisions and, M.P.’s rightly cannot intervene in these matters. That doesn't mean to say she does not see our points of view. 30 minutes flew...and its hard to try and stick to what is important. We spoke about the known issues of:

  • Biodiversity
  • Environment
  • Transport
  • Social/economic
Katherine brought up the possibility of the re-opening of the station at Midge Hall. In her words, she understands that "planning is problematic" and more so than she expected. Katherine is being asked by businesses and others to bring work and money into the area, for that reason at the moment she has to have a "balanced view". Regarding the ex-IKEA site, this may have been earmarked for something else. Emma pointed out there are other brown field sites in the area that may be more suited and better positioned for MoJ needs. Katherine asked what our top 3 priorities are. The reply:
  • Transport
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental
Katherine said these were nearly the same as her priorities. We may wish to consider look at flooding.
Time caught up with us. Katherine would keep us appraised of her discussions with ministers
(This is much my personal view (David's).) Katherine had been well briefed, she has good local knowledge. She did seemed surprised to hear about some of the biodiversity issues, we had a couple of points she had not considered.
We will be writing a letter to Katherine, thanking her for her time and try to expand on and clarify any issues.

Updated 18th November 2021

Not much of the natural diversity of Ulnes Walton is known outside of the area. The MoJ produced an Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA) on the flora and fauna of the area.
Peter Scholes (Chorley and District Natural History Society) is well known locally and has walked these lands for years. Peter has his own views of the EIA, to see them CLICK HERE and see why we think the EIA may be flawed.
Rico Di Franco has kindly given us permission to share some of his photographs. It is extremely rare for three species of owl to be resident in one area.

Update 17th November 2021

It's been a busy few weeks post the community meeting held in the Old School on 22nd October. A smaller focused action group committee was formed and now contains 10 active members all working extremely hard for our local community, the action group are in communication on a daily basis and additional meetings have also taken place.
The main focus for the group over the last couple of weeks was to spend as much time as possible interrogating the minor details of the reports, submitted by the agencies working on behalf of the MoJ and to formulate an objection on behalf of our community.
I am pleased to report, a "Ulnes Walton Action Group: Objections to Proposed 3rd Prison" document was submitted on Tuesday and can now be viewed on the planning portal, it has also been uploaded for your convenience, please CLICK HERE to view.
As you will see, almost every document we read contained negative data that had been manipulated to show a positive and detail mitigations to prove the application should proceed. Our document proves otherwise and provides counter arguments to why the application should not be approved.

In addition to the team spending many hours researching, interrogating and formulating the document, we have also:

  • Attended the South Rible Borough Planning Meeting to raise our objections
  • Additional coverage in the Leyland and Chorley Guardian
  • Engaged with other councillors in the local area who we are now working with
  • We are meeting with Katherine Fletcher on Friday 19th November
  • Have communicated with LCC Highways, Lancashire Constabulary
  • Almost 700 registered objections on our online petition
  • Over 100 online objections on the planning portal
The action group team are continuing to engage with as many officials as possible, to share our findings and the truth behind the reports.
Today we have been made aware of a possible date for the planning meeting at Chorley. We will publisise information about the meeting as soon as we have a confirmed date.

Thank you for your continued support

Update from 6th November 2021

It may seem like things have gone a little quiet on the action against the prison application. But they have absolutely not. Our recent leaflet distribution has been a great success with may people who were unaware of the proposal getting in touch, raising their objections and offering to help.
There is now a small team pulling together all the evidence and documentation for submission as an objection from our community. The data we now have is incredible and we couldn’t have got this far without your help too. So thank you.
As soon as we know when the planning committee meeting is taking place we’ll let you know, as we may be able to attend and watch. Our petition numbers have increased to over 600 and the proposal objections are so many they’ve stopped putting them online!!!

Following was added on 31st October 2021

Folk were chuntering and mostly resigned to the build of the third prison. A Scrap plans for 3rd Prison in Leyland petition was started. A few posts were put on "Facebook Leyland Hub", these received "mixed" comments. On 18th October 2021, the Action Against Wymott & Garth 3rd Prison Facebook group was created to try and gauge local feeling and share ideas. Since then, persuaded by Emma and Chloe so much has been achieved over the last couple of weeks:

  • A local leaflet drop
  • An inaugural public residents meeting (22 October 2021)
  • Emma invited a group of people to help her out
  • Contacts have been made with interested councillors in Lancashire CC, South Ribble and Chorley Councils
  • Contacts made with the press resulting in thee articles (one front page!) in the LEP and one each with Lancashire Live, the BBC and the Lancashire Telegraph
  • Numerous investigations have started into many different things that the prison build affects, from privacy to the bus stop move, the use of drones to increased traffic and nature
  • The petition on www.change.org exceeds 500 signatures
  • A much wider leaflet drop including neighbouring areas
  • 65 (at time of writing) known objections lodged with Chorley Borough Council plus a substantial number of others sent in by email or letter
  • A meeting has been arranged with Katherine Fletcher MP
  • The creation of this website
  • All of this has been driven by everyone, "us", our community. It feels like something positive will come of our efforts. Now we have momentum, we need to keep it going. First, give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back!!
    PS. Please encourage others to object to the 3rd prison.


    Image: Ministry of Justice

    Lancs Live

    The sleepy Lancashire village where residents fear being 'outnumbered' by inmates from new 'super prison'

    BBC

    Ulnes Walton parents criticise proposed jail bus stop plan.

    Lancashire Post

    Lancashire 'super prison' inmates released on day license will be 'risk assessed' - but could still use same transport as children from village

    Lancashire Post

    Horror at plan to move school bus stop INSIDE proposed new prison grounds next to Wymott and Garth jails on the border of Chorley and Leyland