Our Tottenham represented at London Assembly Planning Commitee 10th Oct 2013

11 Oct

London Assembly Planning Committee
10th October 2013

Discussion on Neighbourhood Planning
With 4 invited guest speakers, including Dave Morris on behalf of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations and the Our Tottenham network.

http://www.london.gov.uk/webcasts/34315/asx
[Relevant section, after 5 minutes of preliminaries, is the first hour of the meeting]

Dave Morris explained some of the recent history of planning and development in Tottenham and Haringey, and the efforts of local communities to develop their own ideas, visions and plans for how to improve their neighbourhoods. He referred to examples in Tottenham of some excellent community-led regeneration success stories, including the regeneration of the Broadwater Farm estate in the 1980s and 90s and the recent transformation of the adjacent Lordship Rec. But also examples, such as at Wards Corner at Seven Sisters, where local community efforts to defend and renew their area are being totally ignored in favour of mass demolition and corporate development.

He pointed out that, whilst everyone these days pays lip service to the need for sustainable communities this is rarely translated into community involvement and empowerment in decision-making. Most development around London seems to be top-down, corporate-led mega-development projects. This is not helped by the Mayor of London endorsing a December 2012 report ‘It Took Another Riot’ about the future of Tottenham which fails to mention the need to work with and empower local communities in any of its 10 key recommendations. Indeed it proposed the setting up of a Tottenham Regeneration Board of property developers and other major landowners including the Council, to push through the kind of development they are seeking.

So this year in response, local community groups have come together to form the Our Tottenham network and are now discussing how to support each other effectively, and how to create a genuine Community Plan for Tottenham.

In particular Dave Morris put forward 7 proposals to the Committee for things they and the GLA should do if they wish to support communities. These proposals were also supported by another of the guest speakers present – Peter Eversden, Chair of the London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies (representing 180 organisations across the capital).

PROPOSALS

1.   Strengthen and enforce London Plan (and Local Plan) planning policies which are protective of local community/neighbourhood interests eg:
–  Lifetime neighbourhoods
–  Open Space deficiency
–  Housing density
–  Community facilities and infrastructure

2.   Redefine ‘affordable housing’ so that it is genuinely affordable to those who most need it, and ensure the maximum levels in all development

3.   Make sure that any public funding for development or regeneration comes with an obligation to demonstrate genuine community support, empowerment and partnerships

4.   Ensure that every development application above a minimum size has to demonstrate community support, empowerment and partnership

5.   No developers to be allowed to be exempt from appropriate s106 / CIL and other community obligations

6.   Support and strengthen disadvantaged communities, and address poverty. Ban any social engineering policies which discriminate against people on the basis of their economic status.

7.   Support and strengthen public services and the abilities of Local Authorities to meet the needs of their residents through such services

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