Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Maze Prison buildings to keep listed status

Maze prison
A review decided the buildings at the former prison should stay listed

Environment Minister Edwin Poots has said there will be no change to the listed buildings status given to some structures at the Maze prison site.

Last June, Mr Poots' predecessor Sammy Wilson asked officials to consider if he could revoke listed status of the Maze hospital and part of the H-blocks.

Mr Poots said an Environment Agency review concluded the listed buildings on the site merit such protection.

Some unionists are unhappy about the listing of the Maze structures.

They have expressed fears that they have the potential to become a "shrine" to republican hunger strikers who died in the jail in 1981.

Republicans argue the jail is an important part of Irish history and would like the site to become a conflict transformation centre.

A development corporation is to be set up to look at what to do with the former jail site after the then Sports Minister Gregory Campbell decided last year not to build a multi-sports stadium there.

More than £350,000 has been spent maintaining the listed buildings on the site of the former Maze prison over the last four years.

The high-security prison, built to house paramilitary prisoners during the Troubles, was closed in 2000.

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