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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 16:21 GMT
Prison fears tower block proposal
Plans for a tower block next to a prison may be scrapped over fears it could help inmates escape.

The Home Office has raised concerns prisoners could even be targeted by residents in the proposed 27-storey block near HMP Leicester.

Leicester City Council said they had been asked to reconsider the plans.

A Home Office spokesman said: "A large proportion of the building will overlook...the prison and obviously this could compromise prison security."

Sniper attack

The multi-million pound scheme, including nearly 740 private residential and student flats, would tower above the Welford Road jail.

Councillor John Mugglestone, chairman of the city's planning committee, said: "The concern is that you will be able to see into the exercise yard when you have got a secure prisoner who may have upset one or two people and a sniper could have a go."

There may also be concerns, he added, that an escape plan could be hatched if someone outside the jail is able to track inmates' movements inside.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed the prison had concerns about the plans.

The site is currently a car-park.

The plans could be redesigned anyway if Leicester Tigers vacate their Welford Road stadium for a ground share with Leicester City Football Club.

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