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AHMM lands 1,000-home Peabody scheme for Holloway Prison site


Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is to draw up plans for a 1,000-home scheme at Holloway Prison in north London following a deal between the London Mayor and Peabody

City Hall has lent the housing association £42 million towards the £80 million it paid to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for the 4ha site in Islington.

The MoJ had been looking for a buyer for the largest women’s prison in western Europe since it closed down in 2016.

Now 1,000 homes will be built on the site through a partnership between Peabody and housebuilder London Square, 60 per cent of which, the Mayor said, will be ’genuinely affordable’.

Under the terms of the loan, more than two fifths of the homes overall will be for social rent and the scheme will also include new green spaces and a women’s centre.

AHMM was appointed to the project by London Square for what will become their fourth project together.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ’Our ground-breaking loan to Peabody means the majority of new homes on this site will be genuinely affordable.

’This shows what is possible on public land. We’ve been able to do this even with the limited powers we currently have.’

First opened in 1852, the prison became women-only in 1903. In the early 20th century, suffragettes were imprisoned at Holloway where many went on hunger strike. 

After the prison closed, it was occupied by campaign group Sisters Uncut which called for it to be used to support victims of domestic violence. 

Sadiq khan jeremy corbyn holloway

Sadiq khan jeremy corbyn holloway

Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Peabody, said: ’We are committed to working with 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.’

Peabody said the design work would start this year and will involve a full community engagement process. 

Subject to planning consent, building work will start by 2022, with the first affordable homes ready in 2026.


Readers' comments (3)

  • I wonder if the mayor's reference to 'the limited powers that we currently have' explains why the proportion of genuinely affordable homes being built on public land is limited to only 60%?

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  • Come on Robert, what does affordable mean? And who pays?

    If 60% is genuinely affordable, does that mean 40% is genuinely unaffordable?! The most cost effective solution would be to convert the existing buildings, but it might look like s prison, but with nice kitchens and bathrooms?! Or will it feel like the BBC? AHMM’s other current housing scheme.

    Whatever, make it Passivhouse. That will save the tenants £150/month in bills? It’s a good area, just off the Holloway Road and near Camden. Wasted as a gaol?!

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  • In the real world (at the risk of accusations of naive idealism) I was thinking that redundant land in public ownership in an area of severe housing shortage should be priced to reflect the construction cost on that site of well designed affordable housing - not for the government to make a killing.
    In this case the MoJ would presumably scream that they'd 'been robbed', and more generally in the London area it would be TfL who'd be doing the screaming, because they've been sitting on more bits of spare land than you could shake a stick at.
    But TfL is in bed with a property developer, is currently under considerable financial pressure, and the Commissioner is under a blackening cloud of his own making - so hardly an organisation likely to have the interests of the potentially homeless at heart.
    Where are our priorities?

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