London’s Holloway Prison is to be transformed into a new housing estate featuring affordable homes for Londoners.
The Peabody housing association will receive a loan of £42 million from City Hall to pay towards the £80 million cost of buying the 10-acre site in Islington, north London.
In return, Peabody, which has gone into partnership with housebuilder London Square, will guarantee that at least 600 of the more than 1,000 homes to be built on the site will be affordable. The rest will be available for social rent.
Construction complete by 2026
The site will also become home to a women’s centre and retail outlets with construction expected to be complete by 2026.
Holloway Prison opened in 1852 as a mixed-sex jail, with the likes of Oscar Wilde being held there before it became female-only in 1903.
The jail once housed notorious killers such as Ruth Ellis – the last woman to be hanged in the UK – and Myra Hindley, while hundreds of suffragettes were also held within its walls during their fight for the vote at the start of the 20th century.
Holloway, at the time the biggest women’s prison in Europe, closed in 2016.
Site will have social infrastructure
London mayor Sadiq Khan announced the development, saying: “For too long, Londoners have rightly been fed up seeing public land sold off to the highest bidder and then developed with little or no social or affordable housing.
“We have made sure the Holloway prison site will be different.”
And Brendan Sarsfield, Peabody’s chief executive, said: “As well as providing new homes, we will also ensure social infrastructure and placemaking are at the heart of our proposals.”