Commercial property specialist Colliers International has helped secure planning permission in principle (PPP) for the new HMP Highland, a state of the art facility that will be the first new prison in the north of Scotland for more than a century.

Following positive and significant pre-application discussions with The Highland Council, and a pre-application public consultation, the Scottish Prison Service's ambitious modern design received the committee's unanimous support.

Meabhann Crowe, senior planner with Colliers International, said: “As HMP Highland will be the first new prison in the region for 112 years, we are pleased that the planning application process has progressed so smoothly and swiftly.

“Discussions have progressed quickly and productively with the Highland Council and we are delighted to have achieved a successful outcome. Given that the proposal represents a technical departure from the Development Plan, this is an excellent result and particularly welcome, as it ensures that the Highlands, Islands and Moray areas will get a much-needed modern, fit-for-purpose prison facility in a timely manner. We expect construction work to begin on the site early next year.”

Working on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), Colliers International’s planning team lodged the PPP for the new prison facility on land to the south of Inverness Retail and Business Park. They worked alongside the Scottish Prison Service and a specialist consulting team, including BakerHicks, ITP Energised, Fairhurst Engineers, TGP Landscape Architects, AOC Archaeology and ERM Consulting in bringing the planning application together.

As part of the process, Colliers’ planning team coordinated pre-application discussions with The Highland Council, statutory pre-application public consultation on 30th March and submission of the overall planning application to The Highland Council on 25th May 2017.

The new HMP Highland will replace the 112-year-old HMP Inverness Prison, located in the city centre, with a new 21st century fit-for-purpose prison development. It will serve Highlands, Islands and Moray areas. SPS’ estates strategy involves the commitment to replace historic accommodation with modern facilities, which contribute to a Safer Stronger Scotland.