Council approves zero affordable homes scheme
A controversial plan to revamp a local market and build 196 new homes in the Seven Sisters area of London was voted through by Haringey Council after a five-hour meeting last night.
The proposals have been attacked by campaigners because none of the new homes will be affordable. There have also been complaints that the plans will result in the demolition of a landmark building, and damage the market.
The plan - which will see the demolition of the old Wards Corner Department Store, around 40 homes of mixed tenure and the departure of a large number of local businesses - was approved with Labour councillors voting in favour and their Liberal Democrat counterparts voting against.
The plans have encountered a mixed reaction locally. The council received 388 letters objecting to the proposals, and 13 in support. However the meeting also heard 102 people registered their support for the scheme on the Seven Sisters Regeneration website, 55 people backed a pro-development petition set up by a local trader, and more than 200 signed another petition in favour of the plans set up by campaign group Proud of Tottenham.
Developer Grainger, which has been battling with the council and local opposition groups for more than four years, claims the development will generate £11 million of new spend in local shops every year and create more than 600 new jobs. It says affordable housing is not viable due to the nature of the site, and has made a range of other section 106 contributions.
David Walters, development director at Grainger, said: ‘This is great news for Seven Sisters. The positive decision by Haringey’s committee reflects the very high level of support shown for the proposals by the local community.’
But heritage conservation groups, including English Heritage and the Tottenham Civic Society, have opposed the demolition plans and argued for the conservation of the 1907 landmark building on Wards Corner.
And local traders based on the proposed redevelopment site fear the arrival of high street retailers on the new market will drive them out of business. Market traders fear rents will triple under the proposals, and that the regeneration plans will destroy the character of the market, home to a large number of small Latin American, African and West Indian businesses.
Local opposition groups united under the Wards Corner Community Coalition have submitted an alternative proposal to Transport for London, which owns the building above Seven Sisters tube station. The plan includes the renovation of the old department store, which has been empty since 1972, and lays out the creation of new units of affordable homes on the second floor.
Candy Amsden, 63, local resident and secretary of the Clyde Area Residents’ association and WCCC member, said: ‘There are serious questions concerning the viability of Grainger’s plan, as demolition and construction costs are going to be hugely expensive.
‘Our plan includes some new builds and restoration of the historic Wards Corner, which would retain the charm of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings and would allow local businesses and residents to stay.’