Residents to quiz council over homes at Holloway Prison site

Artist impression Holloway prison site, which Peabody plans to transfor

Artists\' impression Holloway prison site, which Peabody plans to transform into homes with a park, commercial site and women\'s building. - Credit: AHMM/Peabody

Designs for the multi-million-pound plan to transform the former Holloway women’s prison into housing are set to come under the spotlight when residents quiz politicians.

The planning application has just gone in for nearly 1,000 homes on the site which once housed some of Britain’s most notorious women prisoners.

Holloway was Europe’s largest women’s prison and had space for 591 prisoners.

High profile inmates included Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hanged, and child murderers Myra Hindley and Rose West.

The last cell door clanged shut in 2016 and the Ministry of Justice sold the four-hectare site to Peabody for £81.5million in 2019.

The housing association plans to build 980 homes in blocks up to 14 storeys high – including 415 offered at social rent.

The scheme includes 696 “family” homes with two or more bedrooms and a women’s block offering services to support vulnerable women. There will also be homes for 60 older people.

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The plans were recently submitted to Islington Council and include a public park and commercial buildings. There will also be new cycleways and pedestrian routes linking up the land which was off-limits to the public for the prison’s 164-year history.

In a 2018 document, Islington Council described it as a “windfall site” to help it meet its target for 1,264 new homes a year.

Peabody is holding more drop-in sessions at the former prison between 10am and noon and 2pm to 4pm on Thursday (9 December) and from 10am to 1pm on Saturday (11 December) for people to look at the plans.

If it wins planning permission, work is expected to start in 2022 and be finished four years later.

Peabody said between 49 and 269 permanent jobs will be created.
As part of the “planning gain” agreement it would offer 51 apprenticeships.
However, the design has come under fire from some Islington residents who are set to ask the council a series of questions about it at Thursday’s full council meeting (9 December).

Topics include how the council will ensure it meets its net-zero (carbon emissions) guidance.

Documents submitted with the plans set out the environmental policy for the development.

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