Search

Holloway Prison: Sadiq Khan rejects calls to bid for site – but vows to help get affordable housing built

PUBLISHED: 12:39 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 17 November 2017

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured addressing the Labour Party conference in Brighton in September. Mr Khan this week failed to bid for the Holloway Prison site despite calls from more than 5,000 people for him to do so. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured addressing the Labour Party conference in Brighton in September. Mr Khan this week failed to bid for the Holloway Prison site despite calls from more than 5,000 people for him to do so. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Sadiq Khan has rejected thousands of calls to bid for the empty Holloway Prison site – but said yesterday it would be an “outrage” if it ended up as vacant luxury housing.

Protestors marching on Holloway Prison to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities Protestors marching on Holloway Prison to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities

“There is no incentive for government departments to sell to developers who are just going to sell homes,” he said at Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.

Private agent GVA Bilfinger has been hired by the Ministry of Justice to sell the land, which has stood empty since summer 2016. In the sale brochure, it advertises an “excellent development opportunity” and touts space for 1,000 homes – but doesn’t mention affordable housing.

Islington Council has set its own target of half the homes built being genuinely affordable, with 35pc overall being for social rent. The town hall has vowed no one will get planning permission if they can’t deliver that many.

In a council feasibility study, options of 400, 570, 720 and 880 homes were considered for the site, with calculations suggesting the 50pc target would be viable for every option. It did not say if this was also true of 1,000 homes.

The closed Holloway Prison site. Picture: Ken Mears The closed Holloway Prison site. Picture: Ken Mears

Mayor of London Mr Khan told London Assembly members yesterday: “It is crucial to me that the opportunity is taken to build as many genuinely affordable homes as possible.

“This is why my team has been working with the local council on a draft supplementary planning document which could include affordable housing and a centre supporting women in the criminal justice system.

“I was concerned the current marketing approached a straightforward freehold disposal with the risk of the site being sold to a land banker or developer whose bid might reflect the planning guidance for the site.

“So I’ve written to the justice secretary David Lidington offering expertise from my Homes for Londoners team, and given their extensive experience on bringing forward GLA-owned sites for development, they are well placed to work with the MOJ advisers on bids.”

Protestors marching on Holloway Prison last year to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities. Picture: Ken Mears Protestors marching on Holloway Prison last year to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities. Picture: Ken Mears

More than 5,000 people signed a petition calling for Mr Khan to bid for the site and protect the land for council housing. The deadline for bids was Wednesday.

Rebecca Roberts of Community Plan for Holloway told the Gazette: “The Ministry of Justice have been clear that their main concern is profit, rather than considering the needs and views of the local community.”

The MOJ could not immediately be reached for comment.

Related articles

Latest Islington News Stories

13:00

Wireless could be forced out of Finsbury Park if a campaign group’s latest efforts to see off the festival are successful.

10:57

A woman in her 40s was raped in Finsbury Park last week, police have said.

10:48

Embattled senior coroner Mary Hassell will consider every death in inner north London for possible fast-tracking, including on religious grounds, her office announced this morning.

Workers on the Dover Court Estate whose heavy-duty uniforms left them “boiled alive” in the heatwave claim they were laid off for coming to work in shorts.

Yesterday, 17:48

A philanthropic pub owner is donating all proceeds raised at his venue in Clerkenwell this week to support kids through university in South Africa.

Yesterday, 16:50

Ten complaints about Islington Council to the ombudsman were upheld in the last year, a report reveals.

Yesterday, 16:47

The heartbreaking death of Jeroen Ensink could have been avoided if his killer’s mental health issues had been acted on two months earlier, jurors have concluded at an inquest.

Tue, 13:23

Rapid chargers for electric cars cluttering up Islington’s pavements could spell disaster for visually impaired people, a councillor has warned.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now