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LOCAL TRADERS CONDEMN ‘SHAM’ COUNCIL CONSULTATION – FOR NORTH TOTTENHAM HIGH ROAD WEST – AS ‘LIES’, AND CALL FOR A NEW SCENARIO FOR THE AREA6 Dec
On Thursday 28th November a delegation of traders from North Tottenham High Road West addressed the Council’s cabinet meeting. They presented their 4,000-strong petition in which local people rejected the demolition of the area. The traders condemned the consultation over the future of the area as a ‘sham’ and said they had been lied to by the Council. They also condemned the report of the consultation that had excluded or sidelined most of the objections. They called on the Council to ‘freeze this planning process and sit down to design a new Scenario, one that includes this Business Community and allows it to move forward and grow within the regeneration process, not be excluded from it.’ Their powerful presentation is included below in full…
It should be noted that many Councillors are at last beginning to criticise the Council’s plans. At the meeting, Cllr Meehan called on the Council to condemn Tottenham Hotspur FC for buying up shops and businesses under threat, describing this as ‘making a killing’ and a ‘fire sale’. Cllr Stanton said the process of demolition and redevelopment was recognised throughout London as ‘social cleansing’. Cllr Winskill, the Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee which met on the previous Tuesday, said then that ‘we are talking about a massive socio-economic transformation of the area’ and asked ‘who is the redevelopment of Tottenham for?’. At that same meeting Cllr Bull, the former head of the Scrutiny Cttee, said ‘I still have a niggling concern that we rolled over far too quickly on the section 106 on Spurs’ [in which the Council allowed THFC to abandon its agreed obligations to build affordable housing and to put 16m into the local community]. ‘It just seems like everything is Spurs, Spurs, Spurs, Spurs, Spurs at the expense of everything else.’
The Council leader, Clare Kober, said she recognised that there was ‘an affordable housing crisis’, which was a ‘crucial’ challenge ‘for ordinary working people’. The plans would be looked at again to take into account all that had been said and a new ‘masterplan’ for the area would be drawn up and consulted on in the summer of 2014.
THE TRADERS’ PRESENTATION
” This business community has been part of the fabric of Tottenham in most cases for over 20 years and in some cases for more than fifty. Are we to be thrown out to make way for a Football fans Walkway?
This petition with over 4000 signatures shows overwhelmingly that local people are against this.
These figures should have been added into the recent High Road West Consultation, here today for approval. The result would have been a resounding NO to your present plans. However this was not allowed to happen. When we presented it to Alan Strickland in June he neglected to tell us the petition had to be formally presented and so the figures were never included.
There has been no engagement with local business about the development of this Regeneration plan. We have been lied to and lied to by our own elected representatives.
The key decisions for this master plan were made long before the consultation. Key factors were decided at the beginning of 2012. Thats when our small businesses were sacrificed in order that one very big business could become even richer.
The demolition of our shops and businesses became a non-negotiable in every master plan scenario. Where is the Democracy in that? That is why we began this petitionto give the community a chance to show how they felt about it. An option to comment, which was not given to them in the consultation forms
Have we have come through recession and through riots to have our businesses blighted like this? Are successful businesses that we have worked and developed over many years to be snatched away and given to developers for their profit?
The consultation is a sham. It is not an independent study. Figures are inaccurate and manipulated to achieve the preferred Scenario.
The plans were misleading: marking new buildings for community use when they will in fact be retail outlets which incorporated community facilities.
The 68%, which has been widely quoted as a figure that shows overwhelming support for the demolition plans, is not justified. As a percentage of the total households on the estate it is just 40%. In the wider community of 4000 homes and businesses it is just 3% in agreement. Thats using the figures quoted in the report and of course 70 of the business replies were never included in the figures but were placed in the appendix to the consultation report.
Regeneration is not about providing a football venue or boosting land values to justify an investment. The council should not be acting like a Corporation.
Regeneration needs to create hope for the existing community by building a better neighbourhood.
Regeneration is not about moving the existing community OUT so more up-market people can move in.
In 2011, after the riots, the council ran an I Love Tottenham campaign. Its tag line was Support your Local Traders. It needs to stand by that promise today.
– Recognise the value of the established community and its contribution over many years.
– Recognise and accept the wishes of this community as presented now in this Petition.
– Freeze this planning process and sit down to design a new Scenario, one that includes this Business Community and allows it to move forward and grow within the regeneration process, not be excluded from it. “
Statement from the Our Tottenham Organising Group – 28.11.2013
NORTH TOTTENHAM HIGH ROAD WEST CONTROVERSY DEEPENS
LARGE SCALE OPPOSITION EXPRESSED TO COUNCIL EVICTIONS AND DEMOLITION, DESPITE MISLEADING AND CONTROVERSIAL CONSULTATION AND REPORT
– Traders condemn the threat of evictions and demolition, and lobby Council Cabinet (28th Nov)
– Thousands of local people sign petition against demolitions
– Council tenants demand guarantees of better replacement Council homes in the area, if any demolition goes ahead
– Campaigners demand the Council ensure anyone evicted is rehoused in secure, genuinely affordable, local homes and fully compensated
– Campaigners re-state their calls for THFC to pay £100m for improvements to existing homes, shops and community facilities
On the 8th October the Council circulated an initial draft Report of the ‘consultation’ they carried out in May/June 2013 in the threatened area of Love Lane estate and its neighbouring shops and businesses in North Tottenham High Road (opposite the Spurs ground). The draft report was revealed to uproar at a meeting of local traders on October 8th, who condemned the report as biased. They are planning a deputation to the Cabinet meeting on 28th November to present 4,000+ signatures [figure provided to us] on their petition against demolitions. In fact the consultation responses show deep concern and mass opposition to evictions and demolitions [see Summary, below], despite the Council’s totally biased and inadequate consultation tactics [see ‘Biased consultation condemned, below] and the report’s consultants’ attempts to spin the results favourably for the planned objective – a ‘Stadium Approach’ road through the area to benefit Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC) and their new 430m stadium project.
A spokesperson for the Our Tottenham Organising Group said: The Report results reveal true scale of opposition. Despite all the bias and spin, the Report results demonstrate considerable opposition to the proposals. In particular, even where demolition is apparently supported, this is clearly because the Council tenants expect re-housing for local residents in secure, genuinely affordable, new homes at the site. As fellow residents we send our solidarity to the local residents and traders, and call on the Council to work with them in a genuine partnership.
Biased ‘consultation’ condemned Campaigners from Our Tottenham and Haringey Defend Council Housing, and local traders, have condemned the consultation context and tactics. These are some of the background issues:
– The Council’s ‘Plan for Tottenham’ issued in 2012 showed a ‘Stadium Approach’ road proposed to go through the Love Lane estate
– Residents attending Haringey Defend Council Housing meetings on the estate last spring (around 50 took part to express their concerns over the threat of demolition) reported that the Decent Homes works to replace kitchens and bathrooms in the 1960s-built estate have not been done in most of the blocks, as if decisions about its future had already been made ‘from on high’.
– A key condition of allowing Tottenham Hotspur to expand its ground had been that it would have to put 16m into the surrounding area. For example this could have been used to provide improvements (eg concierges) for the Love Lane estate. The Council’s Planning Committee allowed THFC to drop this obligation after the club pleaded poverty. The Council had then agreed it would instead contribute 5m of public funds towards the shortfall by selling off land on the Love Lane estate. In reponse, Our Tottenham campaigners re-stated their calls for THFC to pay 100m for improvements to existing homes, shops and community facilities – a demand put to THFC directors during negotiations with them in July 2013.
– Original thoughts that any consultation would give people the option of saving the current estate and shops was abandoned and the 3 so called ‘consultation’ options ended up being ‘part demolition’, ‘half demolition’ or ‘full demolition’.
– However, even these biased options were not clearly put on the consultation form, so people could not add ‘none of the above’ or put a line through the 3 options. Instead the only part of the consultation form that referred to the 3 ‘options’ was a general comments box at the end which asked for comments about ‘the three options outlined in the High Road West Creating a Plan for Change’ document’ …[ie people would have to hunt out, read and digest a detailed 20pp document whilst filling in the Questionnaire] ‘…as well as any other general comments you have’.
– None of the questions on the form referred to ‘demolition’ or ‘evictions’, but instead to ‘redevelopment’ and ‘regeneration’, and gave the clear impression that local residents and shops would all benefit from improved housing and facilities.
– A Tottenham Councillor who criticised the consultation documents has since been removed from the ruling Labour Group
Summary of Report The report dated August 2013 has finally been officially published as part of the documents for the Cabinet meeting on 28th November. However, the flawed consultation is increasingly seen as little more than a pro-council propaganda exercise – eg:
1. The key question was never asked, ie whether people were for or against demolitions!
2. The 3 Council options, of partial, half or total demolition of the Love Lane estate and surrounding shops, were also never explicitly put so respondents were prevented from opposing all 3 or just adding none of them.
3. The words demolition or evictions were never used.
4. All the questions painted a rosy picture of improvements and redevelopment to benefit all the members of the existing community.
5. The Council have made promises of re-housing on site for the Council tenants affected. We noted that experience of similar developments around London has shown that this rarely happens as the community gets broken up and the % of unaffordable replacements gets increased. But what would not have been clear to all is that private tenants would be made homeless and leaseholders bought out and unable to afford to stay in the area.
6. Thousands of local people have signed a local traders petition against demolitions. This was mentioned but not taken into consideration.
7. 524 consultation forms were returned, 207 from residents of the estate.
8. 62 forms filled in by local customers at a threatened shop explicitly opposed all demolitions. These 62 were sidelined in the report as a petition.
9. Unsurprisingly, in the light of some of the forms language/propaganda, and the Councils misleading promotion of the redevelopment plans, and some of the Councils promises made, some of the respondents welcomed promised improvements. For example 76 residents of the estate agreed that all properties on the estate should be included in the redevelopment plans. This has been used as the key statistic to demonstrate ‘widespread’ support for mass demolition. But many of these also expressed strong concerns about the effect on the community and also demanded that any replacement homes be Council housing and no public land be sold off. On page 37 the report says: ‘Love Lane Council tenants want to maintain their security of tenure and their existing rent levels.’
10. There was mass opposition from local shops and businesses
Please note that the report is very confusing document and the results have been presented and spun in the best possible light for the Councils clear drive to demolish and redevelop the whole area.
The Our Tottenham network includes: Bull Lane Playing Fields Campaign / Weir Hall Action Group, Chestnuts Community Centre, Clyde Area Residents Association, Day-Mer, Defend Haringey Health Services, Find Your Voice, Friends of Lordship Rec, Growing-In-Haringey network, Haringey Alliance for Public Services, Haringey Defend Council Housing, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, Haringey Green Party, Haringey Housing Action Group, Haringey Solidarity Group, Living Under One Sun, Lord Morrison Hall / Afro International, N.London Community House, Peoples World Carnival Band, Selby Centre, The Banc, Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Tottenham Chances, Tottenham Civic Society, Tottenham Community Choir, Tottenham Community Sports Centre, Tottenham Concerned Residents Committee, Tottenham Rights, Tower Gardens Residents Group, Wards Corner Community Coalition, 1000 Mothers March Organising Group
Tottenham’s new stadium masterplan: the fury amid the regeneration
The Guardian, 30 October 2013
The north London club says ‘we are finally seeing the start of the much-needed regeneration’ in deprived Tottenham kickstarted by the stadium scheme – but not everyone is happy with its impact
+ Video: Haringey residents losing out in redevelopment?
Just two years after the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, finally gave up his fight to move to the Olympic Stadium site in Stratford, his club is closing in on a new 56,000-seat stadium, and apparently all he was asking for, back in White Hart Lane.
The local council, Haringey, desperately keen to keep Spurs investing £400m in a deprived area, agreed last year to reduce the club’s obligations towards transport and other community improvements, originally part of planning permission for the new stadium, from £16.4m down to £0.5m. In total £41m of public money from the council and the mayor of London’s office has been promised for the area around Spurs’ proposed new stadium; the authorities’ sense of urgency prompted by the shock of the riots that erupted in Tottenham in the summer of 2011. Continue reading
Next meeting for Tottenham’s Community Groups
Thursday 21st November, 7.30pm
Probably at Tottenham Chances, 399 Tottenham High Road, N17 6QN
(venue to be confirmed)
Reps and members of all local groups, and supportive individuals, welcome
Community Planning for Tottenham – a conference
Rescheduled for February 2014
Probably at Tottenham Chances on Saturday 1st February (to be confirmed)
This has been re-scheduled to allow enough time for groups to get actively involved in the organisation of this important and potentially historic event, and also time for publicity.
To be discussed in detail at the November meeting.
Meeting for Tottenham’s Community Groups
Wednesday Oct 23rd, 7.30pm
Chestnuts Community Centre, N15 5BN
Reps and members of all local groups, and supportive individuals, welcome
Things are moving forward in the long process of building up the Our Tottenham network to encourage and empower Tottenham’s community groups, residents and communities.
In recent weeks
– a number of additional organisations have joined our network, including Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Tottenham Rights, Tottenham Sports Centre, Tottenham Chances, and Growing-In-Haringey
– we have had media publicity speaking up for local people’s interests in the face of ‘top-down’ and controversial development
– we were invited to address London’s Planning Committee to explain our ideas on how local communities can be more involved in decision-making around planning
– North Tottenham High Road traders have spoken out strongly against plans to demolish their area opposite the Spurs ground
– the Wards Corner Community Coalition have now submitted their superb Community Plan to save and improve that threatened area of Seven Sisters
We are currently organising a conference (scheduled for November 23rd) for all Tottenham’s community groups to discuss how we can develop our own positive Community Plans for our neighbourhoods, for contested sites and facilities, and for Tottenham as a whole. We want as many groups as possible to be involved in this very exciting event, so are inviting you to attend our next meeting to discuss the details and arrangements.
COMMUNITY PLANNING FOR TOTTENHAM
A Community Conference
Saturday November 23rd
[Venue to be arranged]
Organised by the Our Tottenham network
To take forward ideas from our April 2013 founding conference for a positive Community Plan for Tottenham and series of mini-plans for places around Tottenham. To be based on our agreed Community Charter and its Action Points, and targeted mainly at members of community groups. Enable community groups to find out more about what’s happened on these issues since then, in the context of what the Council and Developers are doing. Enable the community to learn from successful community-led regeneration and current examples of community plans for sites or facilities in Tottenham and elsewhere. To promote and celebrate our achievements and ‘what works’ for local people.
11. Arrival / registration
11.30am General introduction / background Council/developers policies and plans, & Our Tottenham network news
11.45am COMMUNITY PLANS: SOME INSPIRING EXAMPLES
Presentations of positive Community Plan examples – from outside Haringey (eg Coin St), then from around Tottenham (eg Wards Corner, Broadwater Farm estate & Lordship Rec, Bull Lane Playing Fields, Selby Centre etc)
12.30pm Workshops – 1st session: WHAT COULD BE DONE AROUND TOTTENHAM?
Break out groups all discussing what has been presented so far, sharing ideas and experiences. What are the key themes (see Charter), issues and possibilities for sites around Tottenham and for Tottenham as a whole?
1.15pm Brief break —————
1.30pm Workshops – 2nd session HOW TO DO IT? THE PRINCIPLES, TACTICS AND STRATEGIES
Break out groups discussing aspects of developing popular/successful local community plans for sites/facilities:
a. Developing community visions and turning them into Plans;
b. Accessing and pressing for the funding/resources needed to implement Plans;
c. Relations with Council and authorities to achieve Plans;
e. Understanding, using and negotiating legal/planning processes;
f. Developing partnerships to strengthen Plans;
g. Mobilising support and exercising our power to achieve Plans
Final session MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER
2.30pm Brief report-backs and any proposals from the 2nd session of workshops
2.50pm How do we develop a road map for an alternative Community Plan for Tottenham as a whole? One over-arching plan? Several mini-plans for different areas on the map (eg N/S/E/W/Central Tottenham?). A sector based approach e.g. community buildings; shops and workplaces; green spaces; housing? Practical as well as visionary?
Additional questions to respond to (now and over the next few months) include: Defining what is wrong; what do people really want? What funds are available to develop sites/buildings/facilities in the ways the community want and what more could we get? How do we ensure involvement and support from community groups and the wider public for the process and development of a draft Community Plan? How can we forestall adverse moves by Council/developers in time to prevent things we don’t want from becoming irreversible?
3.30pm Defining a work-plan and objectives for Community Planning over the next few months. Maybe leading up to an Our Tottenham Recall Conference in April 2014 – with the idea of discussing a draft Community Plan for the whole area or a series of linked mini-plans. Should we set up a Community Planning Working Group? How do we improve our communications and publicity around this issue eg workshops and consultations throughout Tottenham + a Questionnaire?
3.50pm. Final remarks. Clear up together.