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‘We want 600 affordable homes for prison site’

Campaigners set out demands for Holloway development after housing association bought land for £82million

02 August, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Islington Home’s for All campaigners take their case to the streets

A HOUSING campaign group has launched a list of demands for the Holloway Prison site development that includes the creation of 600 homes at social rent levels set by the Town Hall.

Islington Homes For All this week released their list of demands to Peabody, which purchased the prison site from the Ministry of Justice for £82million in March this year.

The Mayor of London provided the housing association with a giant £42m loan despite Peabody announcing total group assets of £6.3billion last year.

The campaign group’s first demand is for the terms of this loan to be made public. A Freedom of Information request made in May by the Tribune to the Mayor’s office to find out the terms of the loan was rejected on the grounds that “it would cause harm to the commercial interests of Peabody and the Greater London Authority”.

Their second demand is for Peabody to “consult at every stage and provide detailed plans of their proposals”.

They also ask for the 600 affordable homes promised by Peabody for the site to be “let at Islington Council social rent levels with permanent tenancies and no hidden ‘service charges’.”

They have also called for a commitment that there will be no separate play areas for residents living in social housing and private housing.

Andy Bain, who chairs Islington Home’s for All, said: “We need to keep a very careful eye on Peabody, particularly because it looks like they’re trying to rush through a planning application without giving local people a proper opportunity to comment.”

A spokesman for Peabody said: “We are going to be delivering 60 per cent affordable housing across the Holloway site, 70 per cent of which will be let at social rent levels.

“The rents will be agreed by the council through the planning process. Our proposals for around 1,000 homes align with the priorities of the Mayor of London, and would represent a significant addition to the supply.”

Campaigners will be leafletting residents near Morrisons in Holloway on Saturday from 11.30am.

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