Shrewsbury’s former Dana Prison put up for sale

Shrewsbury’s former Dana Prison has gone up for sale.

The former Dana Prison is near Shrewsbury's railway station
The former Dana Prison is near Shrewsbury's railway station

The site’s owner Trevor Osbourne went through a protracted battle to secure planning permission for university accommodation on the site, but has now announced that “the time is not good for building student accommodation”.

Planning permission is already in place to convert the site – part of which dates back to the 18th Century – into a mixture of luxury apartments and student accommodation.

Mr Osbourne’s company, the Osbourne Property Group, said it has decided to sell the site to be able to concentrate on other projects.

Also for sale is the adjacent visitors’ car park, which has planning permission for the development of a further nine large luxury apartments.

The former C Wing at the prison

The property covers about 2.5 acres, with the car park about 0.3 acres.

The landmark site was built in 1877 and housed more than 300 prisoners until it closed in 2013, with the loss of about 190 jobs.

It consists of an imposing ornate gatehouse and historic walled prison complex.

Unconditional offers are now being invited for the freehold interest of the properties, with offers considered for the site as a whole, or individually for the former prison complex and the visitors’ car park site.

Scaffolding at the Dana earlier in May

Mr Osbourne said: “We have got a lot of projects on at the moment and we feel the time is not good for building student accommodation.

“The higher education sector is hardly in the mood to be expanding at the moment. We looked at it and felt there are so many things we can be doing rather than wait for that to change.

“It is a very good site with lots of great history and I think it will interest a lot of people.”

Toby Shaw, who is marketing the property for Towler Shaw Roberts, said he anticipates a high level of interest in the former prison, which was closed by the Ministry of Justice and sold the following year to the Osbourne Property Group.

He said: “The vendors have invested considerable effort into achieving an exciting vision for the site and it is now available for sale. Due to other commitments the vendors have reluctantly decided to bring the property to the market.

“It really is a unique opportunity to develop and convert an iconic complex close to Shrewsbury’s medieval town centre.”

Mr Shaw said the site falls within the Castlefields Conservation Area and the main prison complex, including part of the perimeter wall and gatehouse, are Grade II listed.

Part of the site is used by Jailhouse Tours to host bespoke tours of the prison, which will remain in occupation for the foreseeable future.

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