Angry residents have pledged to keep up the fight after prison bosses revealed the preferred location for a new women’s custody unit in Dundee.
The Our Lady’s Primary School in Hilltown site is proposed to be the home of a new community custody unit (CCU) which will house about 20 women.
It was initially believed that the offenders’ unit would be built on the site of the former Rosebank Primary just yards away.
Angry residents voiced their concerns about the plans to the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and petitioned against the move
But their pleas have fallen on deaf ears and bosses will now forge ahead with the plans.
Showdown talks were held between residents and prison officials about the proposals in February.
In a heated discussion, residents said they were worried the area would suffer, with fears aired about inmates’ access to drugs and the possible impact on house prices.
Rosebank Street resident Tom Henney, who launched the petition, said he wouldn’t stop making the case against the plans.
He said: “We didn’t want it in Coldside at all and it just doesn’t make sense to bring it to this area.
“I just don’t understand the logic and obviously it’s disappointing news.
“I thought they might have listened to our concerns and what we were saying but obviously not.
“I think the folk living down Our Lady’s way will be in for a shock when this comes.
“It’s just the wrong place to put it with all the drug problems in Coldside, especially if they want to try and rehabilitate the women. They’re only going to go back to their source.
“We’ve just got the news but I don’t think this will be the last of it.
“I’ll speak to some of my colleagues but I think there will be more to come.”
The SPS plans to open the centre, and another similar facility in Glasgow, by the end of 2020, providing facilities for women either serving short sentences or coming to the end of a longer one. In total, 33 sites were considered in the Tayside and Fife area, 23 of which were in Dundee.
A spokesman for the SPS said: “The SPS is able to confirm that we have identified our preferred site for the location of this unit.
“This will be on the site of the current Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School which is scheduled for closure and relocation later this year.
“Community engagement is a key priority of this project and now that we have identified a preferred site it is our intention to hold information events in the coming weeks to allow the residents of the local communities the opportunity to see and hear for themselves how we envisage the CCU working.”