STOP DEVELOPMENT OF HMP SHEPTON MALLET

STOP DEVELOPMENT OF HMP SHEPTON MALLET

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Ann Morris started this petition to Mendip District Council and

This is a memorial. You do not build in a memorial.

The INCREDIBLE historic gem that is HMP Shepton Mallet, is once again due for partial demolition, dissection, & development into 'luxury flats'. This now educational facility is one of a kind, a rare and staggering place to visit, & yet the developers won't let it be.

It's far too precious to be carved up to the highest bidder. The proposed flats in the wings aren't affordable housing either - it's more of an expensively morbid thrill fest for the future residents. Want to live in an old prison? Want your kids to play in the old execution room? Ok with your teenagers bedroom being in the cell where Mrs X's son killed himself in 2010? Fancy your kitchen being part of a room in which children starved to death in 1760? No. RESPECT THE PAST.

In HMP Shepton Mallet the past is a living, tangible thing, and should not be tampered with. Would you demolish the Tower of London? I imagine it'd make a fabulous Tesco or hotel. Or perhaps Hever Castle, a Boleyn theme-park maybe? Or an Auschwitz holiday resort complex?

No. Why? Because it's insensitive and obscene and INAPPROPRIATE. The list is never ending. 

This is a place that's seen it all. Life, death, birth, abuse, torture, starvation, disease, execution, murder, labour, drugs, rape, prostitution, child abuse, and neglect. And this is the perfect choice for housing...why? Why not choose dilapidated houses to start with, pull them down, derelict modern places left unwanted rather than going for somewhere as special and historically pulsating as HMP Shepton Mallet? There's plenty of opportunities out there to develop and make a mighty profit on actual old houses, rather than stomping all over our beloved heritage! You wouldn't build a bungalow in the middle of Stonehenge would you? 

This 411 year old location deserves far more respect - not least for the lives and deaths that have played out within its 10 meter high walls. Walls that shall now be bulldozed to allow access to the new proposed residents of said flats.  The buildings themselves demand admiration & awe, for in the 4 plus centuries they've evolved, imagine the goings-on historically to which they've borne witness... 

Currently the prison is a tourist attraction, and an excellent one at that. Guided or self guided tours around the full site mean that a visit here is both visceral and emotionally tinted experience.

It is VITAL that this location remains intact, and open for the public to learn about its brutal, beautiful, & jaw-dropping past.

It has regularly been used as a filming location, & plays host to paranormal groups, & special themed events throughout the year. It's the most amazing place to visit.

And, although it may sound extravagant, but it's genuinely changed my life.

Having dodged the executioner several times, The Mallet's head is once more on the block. Like a great whale hunted down, greed is blinding those who hunt her. Again. 

This place is an emotional vault.

Please sign, and do what you can to reverse this abysmal, insensitive, and terrible decision to erase history.

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