Old Holloway Prison site to offer new affordable homes

Posted in July 2021

Plans by the Peabody Housing Association to redevelop the former Holloway Prison site in Islington, include creating 980 new homes, a 1.50-acre park and a 15,000+ sq ft Women's Building Community Space.  

Old Holloway Prison site to offer new affordable homes

The Peabody Housing Association has recently revealed new plans for the redevelopment of the former 10-acre Holloway Women’s Prison in Islington which they bought in 2019.  Originally built as a mixed-sex prison in 1852, in 1902 it became the first female-only local prison in England and closed back in 2016.  The £81.5 m project is to include 980 new homes, a 1.5-acre park plus a Women’s Building. 

This will deliver 60% affordable homes, including hundreds of social rented homes for families and older people (42% social/target rent).

In addition to making a valuable contribution to the local economy via new jobs and opportunities for local businesses, the scheme will enhance health and wellbeing by prioritising the landscape, walking, cycling and spaces for people to exercise and relax.

The new development in the former prison is going to be car free, with 2,000 cycle spaces and will feature parks, private gardens, and net biodiversity gains.

Most of the social housing will be for families, plus additional one-bedroom homes and a community garden which will be dedicated to older residents.

Peabody and Islington Council are also proposing a Women’s Building which will offer support services for women and provide a fitting legacy for the site of the old Holloway Prison.  At 15,000+ sq ft, the proposed community space will be one of the largest facilities of its kind.

There have been a number of historical and well-known women who have been inmates at Holloway Prison over the years.  These include:-

Emmeline Pankhurst - the hero suffragette who led a 40-year campaign to get women full voting equality with men. Suffragettes - were imprisoned at Holloway in the early 1900s.  Many of them went on hunger strike as a protest and were subjected to force-feeding.

Diana Mosley - the aristocrat and Hitler supporter, was imprisoned in Holloway during the Second World War after being deemed ‘a danger to the King’s Realm’.

Ruth Ellis - the last woman to be executed in the UK, was imprisoned in Holloway before her death in 1955.

Other infamous inmates include the mass murderers Myra Hindley and Rose West.

Peabody’s Executive Development Director – Dick Mortimer, said: “We’re excited to be able to present these new proposals to the local community, opening up the space to the public for the first time.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve discussed various options for the site, and have listened to the priorities of local people, the GLA and Islington Council.

“We are grateful for all the input we have received so far and believe these proposals create the right balance for the project moving forward.”

Mortimer added: “We want to provide lots of much needed family sized social homes but also put dedicated affordable homes for older people in the heart of the community next to the park.

“The Women’s Building will also be a vital part of the neighbourhood and we’re looking forward to more discussions around how we can recognise the legacy of the place throughout the design of the wider scheme.

“Our hope for Holloway is to create not only a great place to live but an exceptional place to be, with beautiful buildings, gardens and public spaces in the centre of the borough.”

The Master planning team is led by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Exterior Architecture is the Landscape Architects.

The delivery of the scheme is in partnership with London Square.

Executive Director at AHMM and RIBA President-Elect – Simon Allford, commented: “The vision for Holloway is to provide high quality homes and spaces that are connected into the surrounding area and to retain the green heart of the existing landscape and trees.

“The scheme has evolved in response to feedback, and we now have a lighter, brighter scheme, with distinct but complementary architectural styles through the development.

“We hope to see new homes, community and commercial spaces that will bring life and joy to a variety of publicly accessible spaces set around the existing mature landscape.”

Peabody has held several community meetings and consultation events to understand what the priorities of the local people are.

At present, the latest round of consultation is asking for views on the current plans and for suggestions on what local people think the new site should be named.

10,000 households in the surrounding local Islington area have been invited to have their say.





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