Highlands & Islands

New jail proposed for Milton of Leys in Inverness

Inverness Prison Image copyright Dr Neil Clifton/Geograph
Image caption Inverness Prison has had problems with overcrowding

A new prison has been proposed for an area of land at Milton of Leys in Inverness.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has notified Highland Council of its plan to potentially submit a formal planning application for HMP Highland.

The proposed site is next to homes built for Scotland's Housing Expo, which was held in 2010.

HMP Highland would replace 112-year-old Inverness Prison, also known as Porterfield, near the city centre.

The jail is one of the smallest and oldest in Scotland.

The 103-prisoner-capacity Victorian-era building has had problems with overcrowding and the SPS said there was no room to expand the site.

'Fit for purpose'

It has proposed a family help hub and community integration facility for prisoners as part of the new "fit-for-purpose" prison.

Milton of Leys is a large southern suburb of Inverness. The area and proposed site has close access to the A9.

The housing expo at Balvonie Braes at Milton of Leys was held to promote new designs in housing. Most of the properties were later sold, or rented.

SPS announced about seven years ago that it planned to build a new prison in Inverness.

In 2010, SPS was told it could not build a new prison on land at the Inverness Campus.

The SPS had been in discussion with landowner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) about constructing the jail at the Beechwood site.

HIE said the plan was given serious consideration but it did not have "a strong strategic fit" with its vision.

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