GLASGOW’S New Prison Would Have ‘Friendly Face’ And Look Like Student Accommodation

9 January, 2020 | News

THE Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has applied for permission to build a replacement for Barlinnie Prison on derelict land at Provanmill.

The massive facility would be beside the Provan Gas Holder Station on Royston Road. SPS is seeking consent for the principle of developing the site as a jail. If approved, further detailed applications would be made.

Barlinnie has been criticised for overcrowding and lack of facilities. It houses 1,500 prisoners despite a capacity of closer to 1,000.

The new facility will be designed to accommodate 1,200 adult male offenders.

A design statement submitted with the application explains: “SPS aligns its facilities with those found in the wider community. A modern facility will have more in common with a school or college than with a traditional Victorian prison.

“The Provanmill land has been derelict for some 20 years or more and, at approximately 22 hectares, is an ideal size for the proposed devleopment which will remove the longstanding image of dereliction.”

The fall in levels across the site allows for the building to appear as a storey and a half on the Royston Road side with multiple-floor accommodation further south “not being visually higher than or protruding above” the elements to the north.

The gas governor structures, which are listed, will remain “prominent on the skyline, dwarfing the SPS proposed buildings on the horizon”.

A wide green corridor beside Royston Road would “enliven the local area along with encouraging wildlife”. Pockets of planting, seated areas, grassed areas and pathways would be provided plus an avenue of trees as a buffer.

The prison’s family centre would be located on the Royston Road frontage with spaces such as a cafe and meeting rooms. The prison service intends to allow these facilities to be available for community use.

The statement continues: “The elevation is proposed to be predominantly glazed to create an open, inviting and friendly outward face.”

A vehicle entrance leading to staff and visitor parking would be across from Broomfield Road, via a trafflic-light-controlled junction. Access for prisoner transport and deliveries would be via Blochairn Road.

The blocks for inmates have been designed to appear like an office development or student accommodation “with care being taken to break up long facades with vertical elements and material changes”.

The design document adds: “The security of the development has been carefully considered and discreetly incorporated into the built form along Royston Road, lessening the potential imposing impact.” It is proposed to incorporate artwork into the wall.

The application is pending assessment by Glasgow City planners.

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