Scottish Prison Service

Architects at BakerHicks begin full concept design for new Inverness prison

HMP Highland (front) (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Multi-disciplinary design and engineering company BakerHicks has started work on the full concept design for the new £70 million HMP Highland in Inverness.

The initial designs by BakerHicks, which were used to achieve Planning Permission in Principle, are now being developed by their design team to a point that the project can be tendered for construction.

The contract for the concept design, which includes the preparation of all ITT Documentation, was awarded to BakerHicks through the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) framework on a multi-discipline basis for Architectural, Civil & Structural, Mechanical & Electrical and Principal Designer Services.

The new prison includes a central Roundhouse as a focal point for visitors, the family centre and staff facilities, with the main building designed to reflect the river Ness. Using the long winding wave through the site means that, from eye level, the building can never be viewed in its entirety, making it less oppressive to pedestrians or prison visitors. The design is complemented by landscaped garden courtyards, which BakerHicks is partnering with TGP Landscape Architects on for landscape design services.

Laura James

Laura James

Laura James, head of Scotland at BakerHicks, said it is important that the best-in-class design also works well with the operational requirements of the prison.

Laura added: “We’re now taking our initial design and adding in detailed floor plans and internal layouts to the areas allocated on the Step One design.

“We’re working especially closely with the SPS team through a series of workshops to maximise the use of space and ensure the designs are appropriate for how the prison is managed and how it interacts with the local community.”

HMP Highland will serve the Highlands, Islands and Moray areas and hold up to 200 offenders in purposely designed accommodation units. It has double the size of the existing prison which it is intended to replace. It will be the first new prison in the Scottish Highlands for more than a century.

The project is being developed taking full consideration of the Highland Council’s Sustainable Design Guide which has been prepared to encourage agents, architects, builders and clients to opt for buildings that are designed to respond to the local landscape and climate. The SPS Three Step Process has been used, encompassing: Step One – Initial Concept and site investigation; Step Two – Planning Permission in Principle; and Step Three – Preparation of ITT Documentation. BakerHicks has been working with the commercial property firm Colliers International throughout.

BakerHicks has considerable experience in the prisoner and custodial sector, having previously completed projects for HMP Perth and the Young Offenders Institute at Polmont.

Planning in principle secured for HMP Highland

HMP Highland (front) (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Councillors have given planning permission in principle (PPP) for the new HMP Highland, a state of the art facility that will be the first new prison in the north of Scotland for more than a century.

Following positive and significant pre-application discussions with Highland Council, and a pre-application public consultation, the Scottish Prison Service’s (SPS) ambitious modern design received the committee’s unanimous support.

Meabhann Crowe, senior planner with commercial property specialist Colliers International, which helped secure the green light, said: “As HMP Highland will be the first new prison in the region for 112 years, we are pleased that the planning application process has progressed so smoothly and swiftly.

“Discussions have progressed quickly and productively with the Highland Council and we are delighted to have achieved a successful outcome. Given that the proposal represents a technical departure from the Development Plan, this is an excellent result and particularly welcome, as it ensures that the Highlands, Islands and Moray areas will get a much-needed modern, fit-for-purpose prison facility in a timely manner. We expect construction work to begin on the site early next year.”

HMP Highland - arial (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Working on behalf of the SPS, Colliers International’s planning team lodged the PPP for the new prison facility on land to the south of Inverness Retail and Business Park. They worked alongside the Scottish Prison Service and a specialist consulting team, including BakerHicks, ITP Energised, Fairhurst Engineers, TGP Landscape Architects, AOC Archaeology and ERM Consulting in bringing the planning application together.

As part of the process, Colliers’ planning team coordinated pre-application discussions with The Highland Council, statutory pre-application public consultation on 30th March and submission of the overall planning application to The Highland Council on 25th May 2017.

The new HMP Highland will replace the 112-year-old HMP Inverness Prison, located in the city centre, with a new 21st century fit-for-purpose prison development. It will serve Highlands, Islands and Moray areas. SPS’ estates strategy involves the commitment to replace historic accommodation with modern facilities, which contribute to a Safer Stronger Scotland.

Images courtesy of BakerHicks

HMP Highland submitted for planning

HMP Highland (front) (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Commercial property specialist Colliers International has prepared and lodged a Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) application for the first new prison in the Highlands of Scotland for more than a century.

The new HMP Highland will replace the 112-year-old HMP Inverness Prison, located in the city centre, with a new 21st century fit-for-purpose prison development.

Working on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service, Colliers International’s planning team lodged the PPP for the new prison facility on land to the south of Inverness Retail and Business Park. As the development proposal represents a technical departure from the Development Plan, Colliers’ work has involved significant pre-application discussions with Highland Council in addition to the statutory pre-application public consultation.

Meabhann Crowe, senior planner at Colliers International, said: “Identifying a suitable site for a new prison facility is a rare task. Finding a suitable location was not as straightforward as with many other buildings. However, the Highlands, Islands and Moray areas need a modern, fit-for-purpose prison facility and we have found an excellent location for the impressive designs, which the Scottish Prison Service has commissioned.

“The new HMP Highland is proposed on a site which we believe to be wholly suitable to this development. It benefits from good accessibility and existing landscaping on the site will assist in creating a setting for the building. The response to the public consultation we carried out was overwhelmingly positive with a complete 100% of respondents in support of the Prison Service’s aim to create a modern, fit for purpose facility.”

HMP Highland (aerial) (image courtesy of BakerHicks)Colliers International worked alongside the Scottish Prison Service and a specialist consulting team, including BakerHicks, ITP Energised, Fairhurst Engineers, TGP Landscape Architects, AOC Archaeology and ERM Consulting in bringing the planning application together.

As part of the process, Colliers International’s planning team coordinated pre-application discussions with the council, statutory pre-application public consultation in March and submission of the overall planning application to the council last week. The consultancy team involvement will continue as the application navigates its way through the application process.

Meabhann added: “The consultancy team has worked hard to ensure the proposal is the right development in the right place, and incorporates an exciting design philosophy.”

HMP Highland will serve Highlands, Islands and Moray areas. SPS’ estates strategy involves the commitment to replace historic accommodation with modern facilities which contribute to a Safer Stronger Scotland.

The application is expected to be determined later this year.

Images courtesy of BakerHicks

Bids invited for Cornton Vale prison replacement

Cornton Vale PrisonContractors are being invited to come forward with bids to build a new national women’s prison in Stirling.

The new prison, catering for just 80 of the most serious offenders, is to be built to replace Scotland’s only female jail at Cornton Vale.

Justice secretary Michael Matheson revealed in 2015 that the smaller national prison will be supported by five new separate, smaller regional custodial units after plans for a new 300-cell jail in Inverclyde were scrapped.

Scottish Prison Service is planning a two-stage process for the design and build project which will be designed to level 2 BIM and use a project bank account during construction.

More information is available from the Public Contracts Scotland website.

Five firms sought to build new women’s prison

The bidding process for firms to design and build a new £75 million women’s prison in Greenock has opened.

The Scottish Prison Service is looking for five companies to be involved in the construction process.

The new 300-cell HMP Inverclyde is expected to replace the country’s only female prison – Corton Vale near Stirling – and will house high-risk and long-term female inmates.

The prison was originally proposed to replace Gateside Prison, also in Greenock, but this was later changed as part of a ‘shake-up’ in the way female prisoners are treated. The new facility will be located on Inverkip Road, which was formerly the site of St Columba’s High School.

It will accommodate for 350 female offenders, while associated prisoner activity facilities, visits facilities, staff facilities and admin facilities are also included in the proposals.

An invitation to tender is expected to be issued to the selected firms in early January, while the prison itself is expected to open in 2017.

Further information can be found on the Public Contracts Scotland website here.