Family centre prison plan

The new Peterhead Prison
The new Peterhead Prison

Full planning consent is being sought by the Scottish Prison Service for the erection of a family centre and help hub building at Peterhead’s new jail.

An application will go before members of the Buchan area committee on Tuesday.

Members will hear that the SPS also wants to revise the car park layout of HMP & Young Offenders’ Institute Grampian on the town’s South Road.

The proposed building has a footprint of approximately 26m by 26m and is to be located within the approved car parking area to the north of the gate building serving HMP Grampian.

The Scottish Prison Service advises that the proposed family centre is intended to provide a safe, warm and welcoming facility for those visiting HMP Grampian and who would benefit from shelter or a place to obtain information before or after a visit to the facility.

It is primarily aimed at families of prisoners who will require to travel to the facility for visiting arrangements with inmates.

The facility will provide information on a range of services available for visitors and support services for families of visitors both from the SPS and other external support agencies.

It will include indoor/outdoor children play areas, meeting rooms, café and waiting areas along with staff facilities.

Facilities will also be available to provide information to prisoners upon their release from HMP Grampian.

The family centre, although forming part of the HMP Grampian facility, will be separate from the main prison environment and will not be accessible to prisoners and formal visitation will still take place within the secured prison facility.

A total of six objections have been received raising concerns that the building will have overbearing impact upon neighbouring residents due toproximity to housing and will bring increased disturbance and reduction in security/amenity to local residents .

Members of the area committee will consider the application when they meet in Arbuthnot House on Tuesday morning.