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Further delay to prison sale

The sale of the Holloway prison site faces yet another delay, the Islington Tribune reports. A buyer for the site now won’t be in place until at least the new year.

The news came when a Centre for Crime and Justice Studies staff member asked a question about the timetable for the sale at a Ministry of Justice event last week.

The prison closed over two years ago and the land has been sitting empty ever since, despite having the capacity to accommodate over 700 genuinely affordable homes.

When the bidding process ended in November 2017, the Ministry of Justice said the preferred bidder would be in place by Spring 2018. Then in summer it was revised to the end of 2018.

Will McMahon from Community Plan for Holloway said:

Despite Ministry of Justice claims a preferred bidder was to be agreed in Spring 2018, another delay is now on the cards. Brexit means developers have the Ministry over a barrel. Given the uncertain time we are living in, it would make much more sense to keep the land in public hands and start developing plans for much needed social housing now, otherwise, we may face years of delay despite an ever-present housing crisis.

Andy Bain of campaign group Islington Homes for All said:

The preferred developer may be waiting for land prices to fall to make greater profits. Local people, political parties and trade unions want maximum Council housing. The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, could intervene to secure much more council housing as part of his overall plan. It would be a win-win for him and the homeless of London. It’s a disgrace that public land is left unused while homelessness and the demand for council housing increases.

Community Plan for Holloway are holding a public meeting to discuss how to make sure the community’s vision for the site is central when planning decisions are made. Join us on Tuesday, 20 November from 7PM till 8.30PM at the Williamson Street Community Centre, 76 Parkhurst Road N7 0FF.

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