Brixton Prison to be sold for housing

brixton prisonChancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne used a visit to Brixton Prison today (9 November) to announce that “old, outdated prisons in city centres” will be sold for housing.

They would be replaced by “new institutions which are modern, suitable and rehabilitative”.

Although Osborne said the government would “sell the sites to build thousands of much-needed new homes,” the claim that the switch would save £80m a year raised fears that sites would be sold to the highest private bidder and result in yet more yet more luxury housing or retail sites.

The former Oxford jail is now “a stunning boutique hotel offering unique luxury accommodation”.


  1. But where will the new prisons be – in the countryside? What’s the impact on family visits? The Howard League seem to be a bit cautious, saying the main problem is the overcrowding and not the fundamental structure. Obviously facilities can be upgraded.
    And who gains? I can’t believe there will be social housing out of the deal from a government intent on selling of housing association homes. The land will go to the highest bidder – assuming they can prove they own it first.

  2. Sounds like a good idea. Let’s hope they make use of some of the existing Georgian era building structure which dates back to 1820 – rather than flatten it all and build some of the usual souless mega-lego style stuff.

  3. I believe there was a murmur of the usual ‘affordable housing’ quota of 20% (seldom adhered to or enforced once the deal has gone through). So only 80% unaffordable housing. And lots of nice new prisons, privately owned but publicly funded of course. Lets hope Lambeth’s cunning new private housing company is up and running so they can buy it back and make some PUBLIC housing

  4. This is an excellent idea. The prison is vast and stands on land that would be much better used for housing. It is a shame that the above article, though brief, suggests that there is a risk that the homes may eventually house the wrong sort of people. (It is an unfortunate tic of this website that it tends towards kneejerk student leftism.)

    Still, it is worth remembering that, if it were to go ahead—and despite the above headline, that is still not certain—a development of this sort would, by law, be obliged to provide affordable housing.

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