Holloway redevelopment plan a 'public scandal'

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Plans to replace Holloway prison with expensive housing, unaffordable to most Londoners, have drawn criticism. It is not the first controversy to have dogged the future of the Holloway site.

The current prison was built in the 1970s and 1980s, replacing the original nineteenth century prison. The prison is in the Islington North Constituency, represented by the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn's predecessor as MP, Michael O'Halloran critised the planned rebuilding of Holloway in a debate in parliament in May 1970.

Rather than redeveloping the prison, he argued, housing for local people should be built on the site:

The problem facing Islington is one of a shortage of available land. It is very scarce in the borough. Every decision to use it or redevelop it must be measured against this background. This is the problem which determines our priorities for action. It is against this background that the decision to redevelop Holloway Prison on its present site in Islington should be viewed and seen to be the public scandal which it is.

Should this plan proceed, it would permanently deprive nearly 1,300 people of a decent home, and their children of somewhere to play. The opportunity for Islington Council to build homes on land where it has not first been necessary to rehouse more families than will be able to return is the only sure hope that it will be able to solve the many problems arising from its earlier development.