The new prison is planned to be 82,555 sq metres in size and if, like me, you have difficulty envisaging the size, this is equal to at least 14 football pitches.
It will also be tall and will have seven four-storey houseblocks, workshops and ancillary buildings and be built on a greenfield site just off the Foxton Road at Gartree. It will house 1715 inmates, and will be adjacent to the existing Gartree Prison not replacing it.
When presented to Harborough District Council planning committee in April, the proposal was unanimously refused by all district councillors because it went against the Harborough Local Plan and Lubenham Neighbourhood Plan.
At the same time the MoJ submitted an application to build an extension on the existing prison, to house a further 250 inmates in a new four-storey houseblock. This application was withdrawn but it is understood that will be resubmitted. Hence the confusion between the two plans – new prison or expansion. In reality probably both.