Search

Islington Council warns Holloway Prison developers they must hit affordable homes target

PUBLISHED: 16:55 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 07 July 2017

Holloway Prison closed last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Holloway Prison closed last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Developers hoping to make a huge profit on the Holloway Prison site by building luxury flats and skimping on affordable housing can think again, town hall bosses have warned.

Central courtyard at the Holloway Prison site Central courtyard at the Holloway Prison site

In a draft plan for the future of the 10-acre estate in Parkhurst Road, published yesterday, Islington Council made clear it will be standing firm in its demand for genuine affordable homes to be included in any deal.

Officers reckon 210 social-rent flats or houses can be built by developers without any subsidy. That deal would also see another 90 marketed as “affordable”, with London Living Wage (where renters pay one third of their salary a month) the preference.

The maths are based on a proposal for 600 homes that meets the council’s policy of 50 per cent being “affordable”, and 70pc of those being social-rent.

The document acknowledges the Ministry of Justice, which owns the land, wants to sell it for as much as possible so it can reinvest it in the country’s cash-strapped prison estate.

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

But the council, walking tall on the back of a landmark affordable housing case, argued “the duty to achieve best value for the site does not outweigh the need to meet planning requirements.”

Just weeks ago the Planning Inspectorate ruled in the town hall’s favour after First Base Ltd tried to push through a project on the former Territorial Army Centre, also in Parkhurst Road, with zero affordable housing.

The decision ruled developers must take into account planning policy when bidding for land, and cannot overpay and then claim they’ve got nothing left for affordable homes.

“Overpaying against the value of the land will not be taken into account,” the council made clear in the report.

Housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward said the planning victory had put a stop to developers manipulating the viability process. He told the Gazette: “The days when they can come to us and say we can’t do affordable housing because we paid too much are gone.

“We were very pleased with the Parkhurst Road decision. We don’t have planning policy for no reason. There’s a housing crisis across London and in Islington we have 19,000 on the housing register.

“The bottom line is any scheme needs to be policy compliant, and our policy is 50 per cent affordable.”

Holloway was the biggest women’s prison in western Europe with capacity for 501 inmates, before closing 12 months ago.

Protesters were joined by Jeremy Corbyn last year as they marched on the prison to demand social housing be built on the site.

More than 300 people responded to the initial consultation about the future of the site, and the next will run from the end of July until September 25.

Property experts estimate up to 5,000 homes could be built on the land, netting £2billion for developers.

The council brief also includes plans for a centre to support women in the criminal justice system, shops, health services, a park and an energy centre.

The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for comment.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Police have launched an appeal to help trace a missing vulnerable man who was last seen in Islington, headed in the direction of Highgate.

Lee Jay Hatley’s alleged murderer was “jealous” of his long-term friend, a court heard today.

Yesterday, 11:04

A rugby coach sprinted 50 yards down an Islington cycle track to foil a suspected bike thief.

Mon, 13:50

A campaign group has lost its battle to restrict music events in Finsbury Park – but has promised to appeal yet again by taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Mon, 12:27

The bottom of Holloway Road will be closed for three weeks over Christmas while the Highbury Corner bridge is demolished – and Overground services will also be affected.

Mon, 11:39

A Finsbury Park church is holding an open day to fundraise for its flatulent organ.

Mon, 08:14

Police are appealing for the victim of an attempted knifepoint robbery last night in Beresford Road, Highbury, to contact them.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

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