Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the sale of an infamous women's prison site is one of the biggest opportunities to solve London's housing crisis. HMP Holloway's sale was announced in 2015's Autumn Statement and is expected to be replaced by 5,000 homes.
The development is expected to be worth over £2bn and earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice appointed Bilfigner GVA to advise on the sale.
However, rather than be used for luxury housing, Corbyn urged campaigners on Friday (25 November) to "pull it together" and put pressure on the government to use the opportunity for low-cost housing.
At a public meeting, covered by the Islington Gazette, he said: "This is the biggest opportunity in my memory of being Islington North MP to alleviate the chronic housing crisis in this area of London.
"I had always thought that at some point, this must get better. It hasn't. Places to buy are unaffordable for 80% of people in this constituency.
"We don't need to see London damaged by more luxury housing for the few. If we can establish a plan of community benefit, with good access to community facilities, including possibly a women's centre, this is a very big opportunity.
Motioning with his arms, Mr Corbyn added: "Pull it together and we can come up with something good: people living in decent housing that's affordable, dry, energy efficient and secure to live in."
Holloway, opened in 1852, was home to some of the UK's most notorious killers including murderer Myra Hindley. Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain, was imprisoned there before her death in 1955.
The 2015 movie Suffragette was also filmed at the site, which closed this summer.
It's sale was part of a £1.3billion overhaul of the country's prisons announced by ex-Chancellor George Osborne. Some experts believe the site could fetch as much as £2.25bn.
Anne Currell, chief executive of Currell estate agents, told the Evening Standard: "Large sites in zone two locations are hard to come by, with most having already been developed, so it is likely to be a lucrative venture for the right developer."
She added: "Any new scheme here will be extremely popular with buyers because of relative affordability and accessibility.
"Transport links are excellent, with Holloway Road, Caledonian Road and Tufnell Park stations all under a mile away. The links will be given a further boost once the night tube is rolled out fully in autumn."