We have today welcomed the intervention by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the planned sale of the former Holloway prison site. News of his intervention came via the Mayor’s twitter account this afternoon, after he posted a letter he sent to the Justice Secretary, David Lidington.
In his letter, Khan offers his assistance to ensure that the site is released quickly to be developed ‘for much needed new housing’, and to avoid the possibility of the site ‘being land banked… or even traded to another party’.
His letter also emphasises the importance of meeting Islington Council’s target for the site to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing and he pledges his support to achieve this objective.
Responding to the Mayor’s statement, Richard Garside of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies said,
The closure of Holloway prison offers an opportunity to achieve a justice dividend: using the land released by the closure of a prison for public benefit. We’re pleased that the Mayor has intervened in the planned sale of the Holloway prison site.
When I and others wrote to him a few weeks ago, we asked him to consider bidding for the land to keep it in public ownership. We hope that the Mayor uses his full powers to make sure the site is redeveloped for the benefit of the local community.
Sian Berry, Green party Assembly Member, tweeting about the Mayor’s response, said,