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Local groups call on London Mayor to bid for Holloway prison

Community Plan for Holloway has written to London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, urging him to consider purchasing the Holloway prison site in Islington N7.

The 10 acre site is currently being marketed for sale by GVA Bilfinger on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and the deadline for bids is 15 November.

The letter, signed by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Islington Hands Off Our Public Services, Islington Axe the Housing Act, Islington Trades Union Council, St George & All Saints Church, Reclaim Holloway, Women in Prison, and Unite Union Housing Workers Branch, says;

We believe that the expected sale of the land to private developers risks squandering a golden opportunity to address some of the systemic problems for low income Londoners in finding safe, decent and affordable homes.

We would like to request that the Mayor’s Office seriously consider bidding for the land. With your support, the Holloway prison site could set a benchmark for the disposal of prison sites and public land in London and across the country.

Rebecca Roberts, coordinator of Community Plan for Holloway says;

The sale of Holloway prison to private developers is not a foregone conclusion.

I hope the Mayor will act now to keep the land in public ownership and explore the options for genuinely affordable homes and community facilities.

Community Plan for Holloway has received more than 930 responses from local people, organisations and women in the criminal justice system, sharing their views about Holloway prison. The responses, summarised in Holloway Prison: Community Perspectives, indicates strong support for;

  1. The land to remain in public ownership
  2. Genuinely affordable housing
  3. Community space
  4. Green space
  5. Provision of services for women

Community Plan for Holloway will be attending a community festival outside Holloway prison this Saturday (21st October) from 1pm, organised by Islington Kill the Housing Act.

Download the letter to Sadiq Khan here (pdf).