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Calls grow for London Mayor to purchase Holloway prison

Thousands of people have signed a new petition calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to bid for the Holloway prison site in North London and protect the land for council homes, community facilities and a women’s building.

To sign the petition, visit Change.org

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

The Mayor has recently launched a draft housing strategy, with £3.15bn budget secured for affordable housing.

The Change.org petition is gathering rapid support online.

Posted by Islington Axe the Housing Act and Islington Trades Union Council the petition reads;

“We call on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to submit a bid to purchase the former Holloway prison site.

At least 400 council homes could be built on the 10 acres of publicly owned land at the vacant Holloway Prison site alongside community facilities, including a women’s building.

The local council (Islington) has a housing waiting list of 18,000. The Ministry of Justice is currently marketing the site (the closing date for bids is November 15th) and we fear it will be sold to private developers who will build homes for profit, with only a very small percentage of social rented homes.

Islington Council and the local MP (Jeremy Corbyn) support the use of public land for public benefit, and the Mayor of London has a commitment to build social housing. In the post-Grenfell Tower environment the Prime Minister and the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council have both called for the building of council housing. We call on Mayor Khan to submit a bid for the Holloway Prison site and provide a lasting legacy for Londoners.”

Rebecca Roberts, coordinator of Community Plan for Holloway said:

This is an opportunity for the Mayor to address some of the serious housing problems in London and transform the Holloway prison site into a beacon for social justice.

A sale to private developers risks putting profit first and further increasing inequality in the capital and we know that inequality is the main cause of high prison numbers.

Local campaigner, Andy Bain of Islington Axe the Housing Act said:

More than a thousand people have already signed the petition to make their views known. We believe that the Mayor can work with Islington Council to ensure that a development that benefits the community can take place.

There is an urgent need for council housing in the borough that will help the Mayor meet his housing target. This really is a popular win-win proposal. 

To sign the petition, visit Change.org