Laws were passed in the last twenty years that changed bail hostels into approved premises that accomodate prisoners released on licence. Currently local communities have no say over these institutions and the planning laws contain loopholes that allow buildings to be converted to these premises without any planning permission.
– C2 planning categories need to be reviewed to create a new category for bail hostels and approved premises as they stand.
– Laws relating to the creation of approved premises need repealing and returning to their original purpose – to house bailees awaiting trial.
Why does this idea matter?
Communities have a democratic right to challenge most planning matters but don't have any rights if a C2 building, such as a children's home, is fundamentally changed to something different. This has led to Open Prisons being imposed in the middle of communities which has caused resentment and even incidents where residents have been remanded back to prison. It cannot be right and democratic that local people have no say or influence over their community – how is that good for reforming prisoners or for local people? These should be built in partnership and not forced upon communities.