WRAP media release - 29 January 2020
Remand Centre potential for Prospect Vale
On 1 April 2017, the Meander Valley Council itself initiated an amendment to the Meander Valley Interim Planning Scheme 2013 affecting land at 361, 363, 367, 369, 375, 377 and 379-381 Westbury Road, Prospect Vale.
The amendment involved rezoning of the land from light industrial to general business as well as the creation of a specific area plan which would allow the use of the land within this area for "mixed uses".
One of the permissible uses catered for in the general business zone was "Custodial Facility - if for a Remand Centre".
This rezoning amendment took effect on 18 May 2018.
WRAP has obtained emails provided by the Meander Valley Council under RTI, one of which is an email dated 27 September 2018 from Martin Gill (General Manager of the Meander Valley Council) to the members of the Council about discussions he had had with the State Government regarding the proposed prison.
In that email, he foreshadows that "...there is a possibility that two facilities will be built in separate locations, the second facility would be a transport hub to service prison and Court transport".
The rezoned site on Westbury Rd Prospect Vale would allow a remand centre to be built there without the need for a rezoning application. All that would be required would be a development application.
"WRAP has for some time held concerns that the full story is not being revealed by the State Government and the Council about how long this prison plan has been in the pipeline for Westbury. It would appear that the residents of Westbury are not the only ones who have been kept in the dark about the plans for their community" says Linda Poulton.
"When people in Prospect Vale receive the State Government's survey about whether Westbury ought to have this prison, they need to be aware that they are potentially putting their hand up for something that will also impact on their community as well." Ms Poulton said.
"There is some irony in the fact that any remand centre built in Prospect Vale at this site would add a double taint to Westbury's image by virtue of it being on Westbury Road. We have to ask, what has Westbury done to deserve this?"
It is understood that one of the blocks of land subject to the mixed-use specific area plan is owned by developer Ross Harrison.
President, WRAP Inc