Work progressing well on new prison

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WORK is progressing well and on schedule for the new HMP Grampian at Peterhead.

Speaking to the Buchan Observer last week, Scottish Prison Service project manager, Dominic Smith, confirmed last week that the work was on schedule to meet the target completion date of winter 2013/early 2014.

“At the moment we are working on fitting out the internals of the building, while the outer wall surrounding the new jail is also being constructed - something which local folk will probably notice,” said Mr Smith.

“There is a lot of mechanical and electrical equipment arriving on site at the moment and we’re making quite a move on that just now.

“This is the first part before we get down to the real finishing stages of it.

“There’s still quite a lot of work to do yet, however, and there are new contractors coming on site on a fortnightly basis,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a newsletter issues to local residents, developers Skanska have arranged a meeting with residents to discuss the long-term impact of the new jail.

Skanska project manager, Brendan Sweeney, says in the letter: “In light of recent concerns raised by several residents with regard to the new prison imposing on the view from local houses, we would confirm that Skanska can only build to the planning applicant granted, which identifies size, height, boundary line etc.

“We are acutely aware that you may want to discuss the potential impact the new prison will have to the local area.

“As a result of this we have requested that the Scottish Prison Service arrange for anotehr meeting with all the local residents.”

Mr Sweeney also told neighbouring residents that there was a possibility of contractors working beyond the normal site hours in the months to come.

“While we do not intend to make working beyond the normal site hours the norm, there will be cases in which this is necessary to complete certain activities,” he said.

“We appreciate all the neighbours have been very patient with us to date and we are extremely grateful to them all.

“The working late in the evenings tends to be as a result of concreting works and power floating, which should be completed over the next four weeks.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” he adds.