Partial victory for campaigners as Boris Johnson backs housing over Dagenham ‘super-prison’ plan
- Credit: Archant
Prison campaigners have hailed a partial victory as Boris Johnson moves in favour of putting housing on the proposed site of a 2000 inmate jail.
The announcement comes a week after deputy mayor for policy and planning Sir Edward Lister was quoted as being “neutral” about plans to build a so-called “super-prison” at Beam Park, Dagenham, when he was handed a 10,000-name “no” petition by Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas.
The Labour politician has been leading the campaign against proposals since they were revisited in April after first being touted back in 2009 and seemingly quashed.
He said: “This is a very welcome statement. A few months ago they were actively in favour of a prison on the site. Now they are in favour of alternative use.
“This is progress because of the pressure put on them by local people.”
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A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “The mayor believes the site should be used for housing and nothing else.
“This is one of many vacant pieces of public land that he is releasing for development.
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“The Mayor believes it has the potential to become an attractive new waterside neighbourhood providing many of the new homes that London so desperately needs.”
Mr Cruddas led a march on the Mayor of London’s City Hall headquarters backed by Assembly Member for city and east John Biggs and concerned residents living near to the proposed site on Wednesday, November 27, with the petition.
It was also handed to an official at the Ministry of Justice who could still push through plans, according to Mr Cruddas.
“The fight goes on until this is publicly withdrawn by them,” he said.
• See our poll to vote on whether you think a prison in Dagenham would be a good thing for the borough?