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Peabody buys Holloway prison site

Words: Laura Edgar
Sold / iStock-92268246

Housing association Peabody has bought the former HM Prison Holloway site using a £42 million loan from the Mayor of London.

The deal requires Peabody, working in partnership with developer London Square, to start work by 2022 on more than 1,000 homes. Of the homes, 60 per cent must be for social rent, shared ownership or London Living Rent. The money comes from the mayor's Land Fund.

Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Peabody, said: “We are committed to working with the London Borough of Islington and the GLA to deliver an exceptional new housing scheme on this historic site. We are pleased to confirm we will deliver 60 per cent level of genuinely affordable homes integrating existing Islington communities with a new Peabody estate. As well as providing new homes, we will also ensure social infrastructure and place-making are at the heart of our proposals.”

City Hall worked with Islington Council on the planning policy for the site, which also requires public green space and a centre for women to be provided.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “Our groundbreaking loan to Peabody means the majority of new homes on this site will be genuinely affordable – with around four in 10 of all new homes being for social rent. We’ve developed planning policies with the council that support this, and that also set out how the development should include public green space and a new centre for women.

“This shows what is possible on public land. We’ve been able to do this even with the limited powers we currently have. Ministers now need to play their part and give us the step change in investment and powers over land we need to truly fix London’s housing crisis.”

In a statement, Islington council welcomed the sale of the former women’s prison site, which closed in 2016.

“The Holloway Prison site is one of enormous significance for Islington. Aside from its historic importance, the site also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a considerable amount of much-needed, genuinely affordable housing for local people.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the new owners to ensure the best possible outcomes for the community, including the delivery of desperately needed, genuinely affordable homes and vital social infrastructure, such as a women’s centre.”

Peabody is required to repay the loan in full.

Image credit | iStock