MP: ‘Make former jail staff homes affordable’

Emily Thornberry says Islington families are ‘crying out for’ properties like those at Wellington Mews

Friday, 21st May 2021 — By Calum Fraser

Emily Thornberry_Labour

Emily Thornberry: ‘These are large flats and it’s exactly the sort of thing Islington families have been crying out for’

EMILY Thornberry has demanded that affordable housing is included in the revamp of flats once used by Pentonville prison staff.

The Islington South MP has joined criticism of a deal brokered between the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and developers LGP Wellington Mews Ltd which could see 28 empty homes converted into private flats.

The Wellington Mews blocks – owned by the MoJ – have stood empty since 2018.

“The best outcome would have been some eight years ago, once the MoJ had decided it didn’t want prison officers in there, to have allowed the council to use it for accommoda­tion for the people of Islington,” said Ms Thornberry. “These are large flats and it’s exactly the sort of thing Islington families have been crying out for.”

LGP Wellington Mews have made two applications in the past year for Certificates of Lawfulness for Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) which would allow them to work on the two derelict build­ings next to the prison in Caledonian Road without seeking full planning permission.

If they had to secure full consent then they would need to comply with Islington’s policy for all new developments of over 10 units by offering 50 per cent affordable homes. Town Hall head of planning, Karen Sullivan, has now rejected the applications on both occasions.

The Tribune approach­ed LGP Wellington Mews through their planning agent DP9 but they declined to comment.

The MoJ said it had no update on the deal.

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