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Government owned land sale will see 1,000 new homes built on prime London site

One of the biggest deals involving the sale of Government-owned land to be used for housing development, including affordable homes, has been confirmed.

The Mayor of London announced the completion of a landmark deal to secure more than 600 social rented and other genuinely affordable homes on the former Holloway Prison site following its sale by the Ministry of Justice.

The deal, which involves a £42 million loan from the Mayor’s Land Fund, has enabled Peabody housing association to buy the site and the deal required that 60% of the 1,00o homes must be affordable.

It requires Peabody, working in partnership with private developer London Square, to start work by 2022 and planning requirements also include public green space and Centre for women.

City Hall worked with Islington Council on the planning policy for the site, which set a minimum expectation of 50% but the Mayor’s loan deal required this to rise to 60%, and of these affordable homes, some 70% will be social rent, with the remainder either shared ownership or London Living Rent.

‘For too long, Londoners have rightly been fed up of 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,’ said Sadiq Khan.

‘Our ground breaking loan to Peabody means the majority of new homes on this site will be genuinely affordable with around four in 10 of all new homes being for social rent. We’ve developed planning policies with the council that support this, and that also set out how the development should include public green space and a new centre for women,’ he explained.

‘This shows what is possible on public land. We’ve been able to do this even with the limited powers we currently have. Ministers now need to play their part and give us the step change in investment and powers over land we need to truly fix London’s housing crisis,’ he added.

Homes on the site will start by 2022, with the aim of completing by 2026. The project builds on the work that the Mayor is already doing with housing associations including Peabody, last year starting a record number of social rented and other genuinely affordable homes and remaining on track to deliver his ambition of starting 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2022.

‘We are committed to working with Islington and the GLA to deliver an exceptional new housing scheme on this historic site,’ said Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Peabody.

‘We are pleased to confirm we will deliver 60% level of genuinely affordable homes integrating existing Islington communities with a new Peabody estate. As well as providing new homes we will also ensure social infrastructure and place making are at the heart of our proposals,’ he added.

The Mayor has already been working alongside councils, including Islington, through Building Council Homes for Londoners, the first ever City Hall programme dedicated to council homebuilding. This programme will invest £1 billion in 11,000 council homes for social rent over the next four years, and 3,000 other genuinely affordable rented and shared ownership homes. Islington received £24.2 million through the programme, to deliver 465 social rented council homes.