The future of the ten acre estate formerly home to Holloway prison is still up in the air, 12 months after closing. Over 5000 people signed a petition calling on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to bid for the Holloway prison site. The petition, set up by locals, demands that council homes and community facilities are built at the site.
Following the petition, Khan called on the government to build affordable houses at Holloway Prison site. However, he rejected calls for the Greater London Authority to bid for the site.
Speaking at Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall, he said, “There is no incentive for government departments to sell to developers who are just going to sell homes.”
Prior to this speech, Khan wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice, David Lidington, urging him and other parties to secure the best deal on the site.
“The old Holloway Prison site should be used to build genuinely affordable housing as quickly as possible. It should not be sold to an investor who could ‘land bank’ the site,” Khan tweeted.
The old Holloway Prison site should be used to build genuinely affordable housing as quickly as possible. It should not be sold to an investor who could ‘land bank’ the site pic.twitter.com/zXPJLtB2Mx
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) November 10, 2017
Rebecca Roberts, coordinator for the group Community Plan for Holloway, told Islington Now that “Local people are very clear that they want the land to be unlocked and opened up to the local community”.
The group also conducted a survey between April and September 2017, which contacted over 900 people affected by the decision. The survey suggested that residents living in the area want the site to remain in public ownership rather than being sold for luxury housing.
“They want affordable housing, green spaces and public facilities,” Roberts said.
Holloway Prison, in Islington, North London, closed in 2016, was the biggest women prison in Western Europe. The sale of the prison is being marketed by GVA Bilfinger, a private agent hired by the Ministry of Justice.
According to local campaigners attempts have been made to discuss the issue but little headway has been made with the Ministry of Justice.
To view the petition, visit change.org/p/sadiq-khan-council-homes-on-the-holloway-prison-site