Campaigners ‘concerned’ by Peabody report on Holloway Prison housing development

The former Holloway Prison site. Picture: PA

The former Holloway Prison site. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Campaigners claim a developer has disregarded four “crucial issues” around a landmark housing plan for the former Holloway Prison site.

Community Plan for Holloway (CP4H) is concerned at Peabody’s environmental impact assessment scoping report for the site in Parkhurst Road.

The report lists the following factors as “insignificant”: noise and vibrations on the site; daylight, sunlight and overshadowing; health and wellbeing; and greenhouse gasses and climate change.

But Peabody says these issues will be considered as part of its forthcoming planning application to Islington Council.

CP4H board member Roderik Gonggrijp said: “At this time of climate emergency it is inexcusable that the carbon emissions impact of demolition, construction and operation are not to be studied.”

CP4H chair Will McMahon added: “We will be asking the council to broaden the scope of the environmental assessment to ensure that all significant aspects of the project are studied at this important early stage.

“In this way the design as it develops will respond to all health and environmental issues, as well as create the best possible place to live and work, with the lowest environmental impact.”

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The report also notes that up to 1,200 homes could be built, whereas Islington Council was originally told it would be about 900.

And 60 per cent of the total number of homes will be classed as “genuinely affordable” – at social rent, for shared ownership or the mayor’s London living rent.

Peabody’s project director Aoife Conacur said; “This is a technical document that references all of these important issues and makes clear that they will be thoroughly considered and addressed as part of the overall planning application.

“We’ll be bringing forward a landscape-led draft masterplan for consultation soon and look forward to having discussions with the whole community and others to get the best possible outcome for the site.”

Islington’s housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said he’s told Peabody the wording of its scoping report is “very confusing”, adding: “To a layperson it looks as if that’s what they’re going to build and that would obviously be way out of Islington’s planning parameters.”

He said Islington has some of “the most robust planning policies in the country”, and any application would be reviewed by the town hall’s planning committee.

Cllr Ward added: “The 60% genuinely affordable homes is very good news and we definitely want to work with Peabody on this, but we need to see a master plan now.”

Peabody brought the site off the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in March 2019 for £84million. The sale was partially funded by a £42m loan from the mayor of London’s land fund.