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Site restrictions may torpedo plan for Port Talbot super-prison

Words: Roger Milne
Port Talbot / iStock-535245847

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has admitted to the Welsh Assembly that there is considerable uncertainty over whether the UK Ministry of Justice can proceed with proposals to build a new super-prison at Port Talbot.

The doubt arises because of restrictions on the use of the site in the Baglan Bay Enterprise Zone.

Jones told the Senedd: “It’s not clear, if there’s a covenant on the land, who would lift it, or whether the Ministry of Justice would have to go to court to lift it. It’s not clear without looking at the documentation”.

Aberavon AM David Rees raised the issue of the covenant during questions to the first minister.

The AM was quoted by BBC Wales as saying: "It’s quite clear that this piece of land, which is in an enterprise zone, should be used for industrial purposes.

"It’s in the heart of the community, which is different to any other applications which have been made for prisons in Wales.

"So, we need to look carefully at what is the purpose of this land, what do they actually expect to achieve out of this land and if they want economic growth, a prison is not it."

The Welsh administration has stressed that no decision on the site's future had yet been made.

Image credit | iStock