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Plans for 120 cells to be built at HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey


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A prison looking to expand could mean another 100 convicts locked up on the Isle of Sheppey.

HMP Standford Hill is an open men’s prison in Eastchurch, near Minster, and can currently hold around 450 prisoners.

CGI of new block. Credit: RPS Group
CGI of new block. Credit: RPS Group

Now the prison is looking to expand, with two additional accommodation blocks, adding another 120 prisoners.

The 120 one bedroom cells would include a bed, desk, storage and en-suite bathroom.

Plans would also include a new library, healthcare facilities and records building.

A further 40 visitor parking spaces would be added too.

The site was first used as a prison in 1950 and is one of three prisons that form the Sheppey Cluster of prisons on the island.

CGI of cell. Credit: RPS Group
CGI of cell. Credit: RPS Group

HMP Elmley, another prison in the Sheppey Cluster, recently got the green light to expand with more than 240 places.

The plans however have caused uproar from Eastchurch parish council, which claims the expansion would overwhelm the roads into the prison and undermine the rural character of the area.

In a statement to Swale council, Eastchurch parish council said: “The additional spaces and extra blocks for 120 prisoners at Stanford Hill will only provide an increase to not only visitors but also support staff and delivery vehicles.

“This cannot be acceptable for the safety of the residents.”

It also said that expanding both Stanford Hill and Elmley would make the traffic “untenable” in the area: "Church Road provides the only access to the prison sites and as such there are bottle necks during the day, particularly at shift change over.

"Eastchurch is a village, and the Isle of Sheppey is a rural location."

Swale borough council is set to decide on the prison’s expansion on Thursday 12 May.

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