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Islington Council adopts guidance requiring 50% affordable housing for Holloway Prison site

Islington Council has adopted a planning document laying out a requirement that at least 50% of new housing built on the Holloway Prison site must be genuinely affordable.

The historic site, formerly home to Europe’s largest women’s prison and famously used to imprison suffragettes in the early 1900s, is now up for sale by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). At more than four hectares, the publicly-owned site is now one of the largest development sites in central London.

The Council’s Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted last night (4 January 2018) after a record public consultation response. The document has been produced to provide clarity and set out clear parameters as to what will be expected to be delivered on the site.

Under the SPD, elements that must be delivered on the site include:

  • A minimum of 50% genuinely affordable housing;
  • A mix of housing types including a significant proportion of family accommodation;
  • Social infrastructure such as a women’s centre providing vital rehabilitation and support functions to vulnerable women; and
  • High quality, publicly accessible green space, including play space.

The highest possible sustainable design standards must also be achieved, resulting in high quality homes with low energy costs for future occupiers.

Under planning law, the SPD must be considered by decision-makers when assessing any future applications for development on the Holloway Prison site.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development said:

“The Holloway Prison was once used to imprison brave women fighting for equal rights and social justice. Today, our community is facing a different fight, but an important one – the right of every person to a safe, secure home.

“The council’s planning guidance for Holloway is the result of substantial technical evidence, robust planning and extensive consultation.

“The Holloway Prison site is publicly owned, and has a huge capacity to help tackle one of the most pressing issues facing our residents – the right to a secure, affordable home.

“London’s housing crisis has been beyond critical for far too long, and there is a desperate need for genuinely affordable housing to help people in very difficult circumstances.

“Developers should take note: this council will not accept less than 50% genuinely affordable homes on the Holloway Prison site and neither will the people of Islington.”

 Notes to Editors: 


For further information please contact:

Kate Robson
Senior Media Officer
Islington Council
Room G16, Upper Street, London, N1 2UD
Tel: 0207 527 8004
Out of hours mob: 07769 163303
Alternative contact: Media line 020 7527 2307
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