Islington Council’s SPD (Supplementary Planning document) for the ten-acre Holloway Prison site accepts that the site must be sold to the highest bidder, and the returns used to fund additional prison spaces. This is the opposite of “best value for the taxpayer.”
- Reclaim Holloway believes this valuable asset should remain in public hands. Other models of funding and ownership should be considered, and public ownership models encouraged and given priority in the bidding process.
- The SPD’s current target of 50% genuinely affordable housing is unambitious. Community-led housing could potentially provide 100% genuinely affordable housing on the site, with greater long-term financial value than through a one-off sale.
- The site should include housing (including some supported options) for women affected by incarceration or disadvantaged in social circumstances which often lead to incarceration
- The legacy of the women’s prison should be marked by a Women’s Building to house organisations helping women who are in or at risk of falling into the criminal justice system
- The prison’s visitors centre is empty and unused. The Ministry of Justice and Council should urgently work out a joint policy on temporary uses, and publicise how applications for meanwhile use will work.