Council set to strike deal for former police station on Hornsey Road as it battles ‘severe housing crisis’

The former police station on Hornsey Road. Image: Google

A former police station that shut four years ago could be turned into new homes on one of Islington’s largest and most deprived estates.

The Town Hall’s executive is expected to rubber-stamp the decision to buy the site on Hornsey Road on the edge of the Andover estate, which is home to just over 21,000 people.

If the deal goes ahead, the council pledged to redevelop it for homes and said half would be rented at affordable council rates.

Diarmaid Ward, Islington’s executive member for housing and development said: “Islington is in the middle of a severe housing crisis, and the need to secure genuinely affordable homes for our residents has never been greater.”

The station was one of 38 slated for closure in 2017 by City Hall, which blamed  government funding cuts to the Metropolitan Police service.

City Hall said very few crimes were reported to the front office of the police station.

The council aims to build a five or six-storey block with up to 21 homes for social rent. It plans to sell nine more, with two or three commercial or workspace units on the ground floor.

Islington Council started talks with City Hall to acquire the building.

The current deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see the council buy the building from the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

The council is still negotiating with the police to “reach an agreed purchase”, according to papers going before the executive this Thursday.

In 2018, the Town Hall developed the idea to use the site as a new spot for the neighbouring Andover Medical Centre, with homes upstairs.

MOPAC and the Greater London Authority advised the council to “declare itself a ‘Special Purchaser’”  and MOPAC “would consider an off-market sale” based on the “added value” it would bring by building affordable homes.

The idea was put on hold after the government announced more money for extra police.

This meant MOPAC suspended the sale in January 2020 whilst it reviewed all of its assets to see where it would post additional police officers.

The council said it will prioritise at least 15 new social rent homes for the existing Andover estate, and 10 per cent of homes will be adapted for residents with physical disabilities.

In 2017, the council’s plan for 199 new homes on the Andover estate won outline planning consent.  Part of the scheme sees the pockets of infill land on the estate developed, along with sites it already owns on Hornsey Road.

The report for the executive said the deal to buy the former police station “will enhance the revival of the commercial hub along Hornsey Road as well as increase the number of new homes delivered to support the growing population in the area”.

Work to build the first 64 new homes started in June.