HMP Highpoint update 2

I hope I am not bombarding you all with too many updates but given how important the prison expansion is and the impact it may have on residents I feel more is probably better than less at the moment. if I am wrong please let me know.

Tonight I have the opportunity to “brief” both Stradishall and Hundon Parish Councillors. This is not a Parish Council meeting but an informal chat to ensure as much information is available as possible. Unfortunately, because of the strict security most of the usual documents are not available to the general public. I have read a full set of the docs and there are a lot of them!

One of the contentious issues for local residents is the plan to build two new car parks. One will back onto the rear of Chestnut Road with the potential to be a security risk as well as cause disruption when shifts change during the night. Additional security lighting may also affect residents.

The good news is my objection to this car park has been fed back to the MoJ via our planning officer and is under active consideration as we speak. Let’s cross our fingers.

If this car park is relocated it would go a long way to buy goodwill from the residents. The prison benefits from happy, proactive residents who can act as many eyes and ears as to what is going on around the perimeter of the prison. Valuable goodwill that should not be squandered because of a carelessly placed car park!!!!

I am seeking to work with the Prison to get the very best deal possible for local residents. I have a shopping list of things to discuss when I meet the Governor early in feb but I also bring some goodies for the prison as well. Cooperation is always the best way but if that fails …….


  1. Thank you Nick, you have vocalised exactly what needed to be said. We do want to assist the Governor in deterring criminal activity around the perimeter fence. On one occasion a wrongly placed ‘ chuck over’ resulted in a drugs package being found in the play area of the nursery/play school grounds. So working with us in relocating the proposed car park and fixing the service roads would be an encouragement toward a good working relationship!


    • Dear Mr Clarke

      Highpoint prisoner development

      While I understand that there is little to be done about the extension plans, and I do see the sense in putting the car park where it has been proposed.

      Can I please take a moment of your time to mention my concerns regarding the green areas adjacent to the prison / estate. But as a resident of Poplar walk for 36 years (and an employee of HM Prison service for 30 years ).

      I would ask if my concerns could be listed ?

      There are a number of areas of wood land , numerous hedge rows and open green areas that are an abundance of wildlife , some of which is on the BTO (British trust for Ornithology) Red list.

      The hedgerows adjacent to the proposed car parks provide ideal habitat for cowslips, Violets and the rare bee orchids. As well as ancient habitat for all manner of nesting birds.

      My main concerns are for 3 areas

      1- The wooded area and lane opposite the sewage works . Only last weekend I myself spotted Hawfinch , linnets and marsh tits,all of which are rare indeed. Barn owls are regular visitors to this area. This area has been a wonderful place to enjoy the wildlife. I would be devastated if this area was ripped up without any thought to what is living there. The area around the sewage plant is home to House martins and swifts , also endangered species.

      2- The second area is the woodland behind the stores building. I believe the lane running through this area it to be the main road for construction vehicles. This could be devastating to the many animals and birds that inhabit the woods and hedges , which I am sure will be cut back or down. There are deer that come off the fields and live in the woods. Nesting woodpeckers, buzzards, red kites to name but a few.. Barn owls regularly come to this area from the adjacent conservation area.

      3- The conservation area adjacent to Stirling House . Bee orchids grow here. And the long grassed area is a regular hunting ground for many species of owls. The reed beds are home to various warblers, that can be heard ,and are truly wonderful.

      Can you please advise on any plans to minimise changes /damage to these areas. Surely this habitat must be considered for the wonderful place it is and should remain.

      Yours sincerely

      Kerry Barnett


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