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But the real curiosity here is that the Council is arguing that without the WRR then Sniperley Park could not be developed (traffic problems): and that without Sniperley Park, the WRR could not be built (the Sniperley developers would help pay for it): and somehow that this justifies the proposals.
A sustainable, vibrant new community
Most bizarre of all, perhaps, is this traditionally Labour stronghold uncritically accepting the Treasury orthodoxy that building vast numbers of the wrong kind of homes in the wrong places helps the economy. In fact all it would be likely to do would be to destabilize further a very sickly local housing market and reduce the attraction of the city to tourists and investors.
A strategy to improve the county’s weak public transport, allowing people from the depressed surrounding communities to provide the labour force the city needs to expand, would do far more for the economy of the whole area and assist regeneration.
Appetite and ambition for jobs are laudable, but ambition to trash the environment and neglect the needs for regeneration and brownfield redevelopment are not.
HMP Frankland near Durham
If you’re getting £100,000 for one prisoner then all of a sudden this system starts to grow.
One of three “jails within a jail” created to hold the most dangerous Islamist prisoners has not housed any inmates amid claims that the prison service has grave doubts about the scheme.
The separation unit at Woodhill prison near Milton Keynes was ready to take extremist offenders in April. However, since then insufficient prisoners have been assessed as requiring separation. The failure to move any offenders into Woodhill will fuel suspicions that the prison service is dragging its feet over filling the units.
Last month a parliamentary intelligence and security committee report quoted evidence from counterterrorism police warning that the centres could become “academies of terror” and that it was “never a good thing” to bring radicalised inmates together.
When the Government announced the plans, they said the most “subversive” prisoners would be housed in the new wing.
Using Freedom of Information laws, ChronicleLive has learned the the wing cost £1,008,015 to set up.
The Prison Service does not comment on individual prisoners but it has been widely reported Choudary was housed on the unit.
Up to 28 extremists can be housed in the centre but the Ministry of Justice declined to disclose how many prisoners are currently incarcerated there.
The wholly distorting effect our ancient universities are having on the whole planning debate is an interesting sidelight on all of this. A series of recent reports has suggested wholly unsustainable and destructive inflation of both Oxford and Cambridge; now Durham seems to have caught the same disease.
The whole of the Wear Valley north of the City Centre is an important and attractive area for walking. Possible improvements should be made to the footpaths between the City Centre along the river banks to Finchale. Walking along the Wear valley can take in several points of interest including Kepier Hospital, Brasside Ponds and Finchale Abbey.
It is intended to provide a new footbridge to link the two sides of the valley.