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Colliers International spearheads complex planning for first HMP Highlands of Scotland prison for more than a century

Posted: 31st May 2017

HMP Highland (front) (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Commercial property specialist Colliers International has prepared and lodged a Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) application for an unusual and ambitious project: the first new prison in the Highlands of Scotland for more than a century.

The new HMP Highland will replace the 112-year-old HMP Inverness Prison, located in the city centre, with a new 21st century fit-for-purpose prison development.

Working on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service, Colliers International’s planning team lodged the PPP for the new prison facility on land to the south of Inverness Retail and Business Park. As the development proposal represents a technical departure from the Development Plan, Colliers’ work has involved significant pre-application discussions with The Highland Council in addition to the statutory pre-application public consultation.

Meabhann Crowe, Senior Planner at Colliers International, said: “Identifying a suitable site for a new prison facility is a rare task. Finding a suitable location was not as straightforward as with many other buildings. However, the Highlands, Islands and Moray areas need a modern, fit-for-purpose prison facility and we have found an excellent location for the impressive designs, which the Scottish Prison Service has commissioned.

“The new HMP Highland is proposed on a site which we believe to be wholly suitable to this development. It benefits from good accessibility and existing landscaping on the site will assist in creating a setting for the building. The response to the public consultation we carried out was overwhelmingly positive with a complete 100% of respondents in support of the Prison Service’s aim to create a modern, fit for purpose facility.”

Colliers International worked alongside the Scottish Prison Service and a specialist consulting team, including BakerHicks, ITP Energised, Fairhurst Engineers, TGP Landscape Architects, AOC Archaeology and ERM Consulting in bringing the planning application together.

As part of the process, Colliers International’s planning team coordinated pre-application discussions with The Highland Council, statutory pre-application public consultation on 30th March and submission of the overall planning application to The Highland Council on the 25th May 2017. The consultancy team involvement will continue as the application navigates its way through the application process.

Meabhann added: “The consultancy team has worked hard to ensure the proposal is the right development in the right place, and incorporates an exciting design philosophy.”

HMP Highland will serve Highlands, Islands and Moray areas. SPS’ estates strategy involves the commitment to replace historic accommodation with modern facilities which contribute to a Safer Stronger Scotland.

The application is expected to be determined later this year.

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