‘Holloway Prison site should be a green trailblazer’

Peabody urged to make development ‘a destination’

Friday, 29th October 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Lawrencia Frempong Jonathan Ward and Richard Hope in Navigator Square Holloway site 2

Lawrencia Frempong, Jonathan Ward and Richard Hope in Navigator Square on Saturday. Photo: Debbie Humphry

CAMPAIGNERS are calling for the Holloway Prison redevelopment to become a green trailblazer amid concerns the new housing there will be “unpleasant”, a meeting heard.

The Community Plan 4 Holloway group held a council-run “Let’s Talk About A Greener Future” event in Navigator Square, Archway, on Saturday.

Campaigners from CP4H have responded to Peabody’s consultation, which closed last Friday, while urging the housing association to declare carbon reduction targets for any construction.

Jonathan Ward from CP4H said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. People of Holloway would love to see something exemplary that really talks about modern community living and doesn’t just repeat some of the old ways of building housing.

“I imagine a vibrant new community here, maybe the place could be called ‘West Holloway Village’ and it is a place you can go to. There is going to be a park, playground, café, women’s building – it is a new place and destination. There is not much happening around there but as a place it can contribute in a rich way to its surroundings.

How the site could look

“We don’t see that ambition. We don’t see that excitement. We want to see something that people are going to be truly impressed by and come from miles around to come and see.”

Campaigners also say the proposal for 980 homes is an over-development for the site and say the visual and environmental impact on neighbours will be extreme.

They also say about 10 per cent of the homes will fail to meet the minimum daylight requirements.

Melissa Herman from CP4H said: “This is something that is really key. We don’t want Peabody to create something that is an unpleasant place to live in. We need housing but we need good quality housing in a well-designed community.”

Peabody said it will be installing green roofs, rain gardens and permeable paving as part of the development.

The site will also feature an 1.4 acre park – the size of a football field – and will have 350 new trees.

A Peabody spokesperson said: “As part of our design development, we have considered a number of road options for servicing the development. Our proposal has the lowest land take of the options considered, which has allowed us to maximise the size of the public park. Our design includes a relatively narrow road flanked by parking and street furniture which results in an environment that encourages slower vehicle speeds and encourages cyclists to take the primary position in the road.

“The homes will be heated through a combination of air source heat pumps and 1500sqm of solar panels, and detailed work is being carried out to reduce operational and embodied carbon in the new buildings. Sustainability is at the forefront of our minds in all phases of the scheme, from demolition to completion and in how the buildings perform and are lived in over time. We will publish our full sustainability and energy strategy soon as part of our planning application.”

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