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Plan to build new prison in Essex

Plans to construct a 1,500 capacity prison at the site of a former psychiatric hospital in Runwell, Essex, have been submitted to Chelmsford Borough Council by the Ministry of Justice.

The project in the former Runwell Secure Psychiatric Hospital site is expected to create 800 jobs and generate £17.1 million in annual revenue for the local economy.

A spokesman for the MoJ said the new prison is being built because there is a shortage of prison places in south-east England.

He added that the planning application was submitted to the council after a public consultation into the proposals.

Justice minister Maria Eagle said: “This represents a significant milestone in the planning for a new prison at Runwell. We believe a major development like a prison at Runwell would boost the economy and provide jobs for local people.

“But of equal importance is the fact this is another opportunity for residents near the proposed prison to have their views heard, not only by the Ministry of Justice, but by the planning authority who will have the final say on this application.”