§ Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made to obtain a suitable site in South London for a new local prison with a secure Crown court; what, if any, are the causes of delay; and when he expects to make an announcement.
§ Mr. Mayhew
A suitable site for a local prison exists on Ministry of Defence land known as Woolwich Arsenal East in the London borough of Greenwich. There is also space for courts if the Lord Chancellor's Department decides to have them built. A formal notice of proposed development for the prison under Department of the Environment circular 7/77 was sent to the local planning authority on 21 July 1981. A non-statutory local public inquiry seems likely to consider objections to the site's use for prison purposes. There is as yet no delay and 1986 is the earliest year in which construction could begin.