South Ribble wants assurances over traffic concerns if new super jail is built next door in Chorley
South Ribble Council is seeking assurances over how its roads will be affected by the building of a new super prison in neighbouring Chorley.
The authority, which shares a number of services with its next-door council, wants to make sure increased traffic created by the 1,715-inmate jail at Ulnes Walton - next to two existing prisons at Wymott and Garth - will not unduly impact on its highway network.
Plans show the new jail will create hundreds more car journeys during morning and afternoon rush hours, with 858 extra staff going in and out of the area on a daily basis.
And, with the three prisons not far from the boundary between the two councils, South Ribble are keen to make sure the new institution does not have a major effect on traffic movement on its patch.
Chorley have formally asked their neighbours for their views on the prison scheme before a decision is made on whether it can be built.
Councillors at South Ribble will get a chance to debate it at a meeting of its planning committee on Thursday. But officers have recommended that the council ask Chorley to bear its close neighbour in mind on issues like traffic, the economic benefits that the prison could bring locally and the need to protect Green Belt land in the area.
On the question of roads, a report to go before the committee says the council should "seek assurance that the impact of the proposal in terms of the adjacent highway network and junctions within South Ribble are fully considered having regard to existing and committed development."
The report says: "More sustainable pedestrian and cycle routes to the prisons are explored and in association with we would seek financial contributions for the creation/enhancement of these routes as part of the borough's green link network."
On the economic front: "While welcoming economic investment in the area as a whole we would wish to see full adherence to principles of social and community value, employing local people at the prison and the creation of apprenticeships along with use of local businesses in the supply chain of goods and services."
On the issue of Green Belt land it says: "The very special circumstances that need to be demonstrated to allow such development in the Green Belt are fully explored and found to be robust given the pressure on the Central Lancashire Green Belt."
And South Ribble adds: "We would welcome further discussion and engagement as the detail is worked up and would be happy to meet HM Justice representatives to discuss our concerns and suggestions above."
The new prison is currently going through the planning process at Chorley Council. Already there has been widespread opposition to the scheme which will concentrate three prisons - with a combined total capacity of 3,765 inmates - in the heart of the Lancashire countryside.