The independent London newspaper

Holloway Prison site is public land and should not be sold to a private bidder

09 March, 2018

Holloway Prison site

• I ATTENDED the meeting on Friday about the community plan for Holloway Prison site. I made the point that the biggest hindrance to realising our vision for the site is this govern­ment.

The site is public land and should be for public use, the govern­ment should not be selling our land to a private bidder.

There were calls for Mayor Sadiq Khan to buy the land. He would be using public money to buy what already belongs to us and this is ridiculous.

We need to delay the sale of the land until we get a Labour government and we can use the land to build genuinely affordable housing and council housing. Islington does not need any more luxury, private housing.

The Labour council’s supplementary plan for the site incorporates a sustainable development with at least 50 per cent genuinely affordable housing and a women’s centre to commemorate the site’s use as a women’s prison.

Councillor Gary Heather said: “What we want to do is progress beyond 50 per cent. We are not going to accept what we normally do. We mustn’t settle for crumbs off the table.”

Councillor Satnam Gill, who was at the meeting, says: “Islington Council built 140 homes this year and would build 600 homes a year if the government allowed us to borrow the money. Give us the Holloway site and we will build high-quality homes at social rents for the 18,000 people on our waiting list.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the meeting that a new approach is needed. “We’ve got to change the whole approach to housing,” he said. “There is social cleansing on a massive scale. There should be no decanting of people from council estates without them having a vote about the impact on their com­munity and the scheme. I want to empower local authorities to deal with the housing crisis.”

Labour candidate, St George’s ward


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