TAUNTON'S former jail could soon become home to law abiding citizens instead of prisoners.

A planning application has been submitted to convert the Grade II building into six homes.

Councillors at Somerset West and Taunton Council are being recommended to conditionally approve the project at 9 to 11 Burton Place.

The premises more recently served as part of the former Taunton Police Station, which fronts on to Shuttern.

The police station closed in December 2018 and relocated to the Deane House, in Belvedere Road.

The proposed development at Burton Place includes two one-bedroom homes, three two-bedroom properties and one with three bedrooms.

Developer Photinia Ltd says in its application that there is an amenity area, but there would be no parking spaces on the site.

A total of 27 objections to the scheme from neighbours mainly criticise the pressure the project would put on the residents' parking scheme in the area.

There is one letter of support, which says the development would improve the area.

The council will discuss the application next Thursday (September 17).

Wilton Gaol, as it was known, was built in the 1750s and was the county jail for Somerset from 1843.

A total of 16 murderers were hanged there between 1844 and 1884.

The executions were carried out on the prison roof in view of the public until 1867 and attracted large crowds.

When the jail closed in 1884, it became a military prison until 1889.

By 1910 the buildings were being used by the Territorial Army.

The police station on the site was built in 1943.