The mayor of London stated that affordable homes should be the priority at the site, rather than allowing the possibility of the land being banked by an investor.
Holloway Prison – a 10-acre site in Islington – is capable of delivering around 1,000 new homes, and is being marketed for sale by the Ministry of Justice with a deadline of 15th November for expressions of interest.
Mr Khan has expressed concern regarding the government’s disposal process with the site being offered to purchasers with no restrictions or constraints.
This increases the risk of the site being land banked and left idle and unused for years.
With the capital experiencing a housing crisis, the mayor is committed to ensuring that all public land in London makes a significant contribution to affordable housing, with land being released quickly to build new homes.
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Mr Khan has been working closely with Islington Council on its new planning document for the site, which outlines that the site can viably include 50% affordable housing.
The mayor has now written to the justice secretary David Lidington offering City Hall housing and land experts to work with the Ministry of Justice to achieve the best deal for the site, which can then be reinvested into the government’s prison reform programme.
Mr Khan said: “Holloway Prison is a major site capable of delivering a large number of new and affordable homes for Londoners.
“It’s absolutely crucial we do not run the risk of this prized asset being ‘land banked’ and left unused for decades.
“London desperately needs new and affordable homes right now.
“I am offering to work with the government – with help from my experienced Homes for Londoners team – to ensure this site not only achieves good value to be reinvested in the prison service, but also that it is built on quickly and delivers hundreds of new and genuinely affordable homes.”