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Holloway Prison site sale brochure lists it as ‘exceptional development opportunity’

PUBLISHED: 11:51 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 October 2017

Protestors marched on Holloway Prison last year to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities.

Protestors marched on Holloway Prison last year to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities.

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The Holloway Prison site has been advertised as an “exceptional development opportunity” by the agents handling the sale – but no mention is made of affordable homes or community uses.

GVA Bilfinger has been hired by the Ministry of Justice to sell the land, with more than 1,000 homes touted. But Islington Council says no scheme will be given planning permission unless half of them are “genuinely affordable”.

Campaigners also want to see a women’s centre and green space on the site, while calls for a competition-sized swimming pool were revealed by the Gazette last month.

The brochure doesn’t include any of those details, but states the site has “the potential to deliver a significant residential development of perhaps over 1,000 apartments”.

That’s more than listed in a feasibility study commissioned by Islington Council suggesting four possible options of 400, 570, 720 and 880 homes.

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

“Community Plan for Holloway is working with local partners to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.”

Islington Council’s housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward repeated his stance in the wake of the brochure going public. He said: “There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in London, and this publicly-owned former Holloway Prison site is a very important opportunity to build some of the genuinely affordable homes that Londoners so badly need.

“This is a large site which can provide a very significant amount of housing. We have tested a number of scenarios, which show that 50 per cent of homes can be secured as genuinely affordable housing.

“We believe providing high levels of genuinely affordable housing on the site is not only possible but is the right thing for the future of Islington.”

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