Property agents, GVA Bilfinger, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Justice have stepped up their advertising for the Holloway prison site. Listing it as ‘an exceptional development opportunity’, they are inviting bids for the site by noon on 15 November 2017. Viewings of the prison can also be arranged via the www.hollowayprison.com website.
The GVA brochure and website boasts that the site has ‘the potential to deliver a significant residential development of perhaps over 1,000 apartments’. This in excess of estimates contained in a feasibility study commissioned by Islington Council suggesting four possible options of 400, 570, 720 and 880 apartments.
The GVA brochure and website make no mention of public open green space, play space and a women’s building as specified in the Council’s draft planning document which also has support of the Mayor’s Office.
After alerting the local press to the brochure, the Islington Gazette, has covered the story online. They report that Council has responded saying ‘no scheme will be given planning permission unless half of them are ‘genuinely affordable’.”
Rebecca Roberts of Community Plan for Holloway said:
The Ministry of Justice have been clear that their main concern is profit, rather than the needs and views of the local community.
Community Plan for Holloway is working with local partners to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
On 30 September, more than 150 people attended an Open Day organised by Community Plan for Holloway. Local MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the event highlighting the huge potential to create affordable housing at the Holloway site.
Community Plan for Holloway has received in excess of 900 responses to an online and paper survey inviting the public, local organisations and women in the criminal justice system to share their hopes and concerns about future development of the prison site. The responses received will create the framework for a community plan, due to be published in 2018.