1,000 home plan for Holloway prison site comes under fire

The Holloway Prison site from a neighbouring rooftop. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Holloway Prison site from a neighbouring rooftop. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 1,000 homes on the site of the former women’s prison in Holloway have been called "not fit for purpose" by a pressure group.

Having bought the land for 81.5million in 2019, Peabody has applied for planning permission to transform it. Islington Council’s planning committee is set to decide the fate of proposals in the coming weeks. 

Community Plan for Holloway, a coalition of local community groups formed to decide what is best for the project, has come up with 15 specific reasons why they want the multi-million-pound project to be rejected. 

A statement, released this week, added: “Our objections are numerous. In many instances [the proposals are] in direct contravention of the local plan, the London Plan and national planning policy.

“On this basis, the application should be rejected in full and the applicant required to submit an improved proposal.

“Approval of this application, in whole or in part, does not deliver the advertised benefits to the borough. It comes at great cost to the area and residents surrounding the former Holloway Prison.”

Community Plan for Holloway’s objections include the proposed height, density and design, the "lack" of community facilities, the impact on "community service provision", and the "reduced" sunlight and daylight in nearby properties.

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The statement added: “The plans, as submitted, would fail to create a new neighbourhood that comprised good quality homes and amenities, with the lowest possible environmental impact, and a fitting legacy for this site of historical significance.”

Holloway was Europe’s largest women’s prison and had space for 591 prisoners – who have included Ruth Ellis, Myra Hindley, and Rose West.

The council’s planning committee is set to discuss the plans at a meeting on January 25. The final decision will be made by the Greater London Authority. 

If planning permission is approved, work could begin at the end of 2022. 

Peabody has been approached for comment.

The developer has previously said between 49 and 269 permanent jobs will be created. As part of the “planning gain” agreement it would offer 51 apprenticeships.