Holiday camp jail plan is turned down

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Emergency plans to convert a former Pontin's holiday camp into a makeshift jail to help cope with the overcrowding crisis were turned down by local planners last night.

The refusal by Lancaster City Council's planning committee to grant permission for the site at Heysham to house up to 700 low-risk prisoners is a big blow to the Prison Service, which is running out of cells. It follows a similar rejection to place a floating jail in Portland Harbour, Dorset.

Councillor Derrick Stanley said the plan was rejected because it would be detrimental to tourism and dominate the small village of Middleton.