Prisons minister says he would pay Council £1 to take on Camp Hill

Prison minister Rory Stewart says the government is struggling to sell Camp Hill Prison – even though it’s on the market for just £1.

The prison minister said he was “Very, very, very keen” to sell the former prison site to the Isle of Wight Council for new affordable housing stock but he was unsure the deal would go ahead as the council were “not certain” about the purchase.

He told the Justice Select Committee that he would be happy to pay them [Isle of Wight Council] a pound to have it.

Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely also talked with justice minister about the site and how it could be brought into use by the Island’s council quickly.

The site has been unused since 2013 and the council has identified it as part of its regeneration plans with a broad idea to use it as a site for housing, community, commercial and social uses.

“This is a significant piece of land lying dormant in an important position and I support the council in its desire to get the Ministry of Justice to hand it over without going through too many bureaucratic hurdles,” said Bob.

“Doing so would save time and money and let the council get on and use the site to productively for the good of the Island through its regeneration plans.

“It was a good meeting. The minister is keen to help and I stressed how important it is for the council to get hold of Camp Hill to ensure its long-term development for the good of the Island.”

Due diligence is now being carried out and Bob will have another meeting in the New Year with MoJ officials.