Statement from the Wards Corner Community Coalition
At 11.30pm on 20th July, Haringey Council's special planning subcommittee refused the application by developer Grainger PLC to demolish the block at Wards Corner in Seven Sisters, Tottenham, a site that is home to a number of well-established, independent shops, the Seven Sisters market and a street of residential properties.
More than a hundred people filled the gallery at Wood Green Civic Centre as the case for the plan was put to the committee. Twelve speakers, representing traders, residents and local groups, passionately and skilfully dismantled the arguments supporting the plan and demonstrated to the committee the clear reasons for rejecting the Grainger application. A large shadow of doubt was cast over the Council's poor attempt at an Equalities Impact Assessment which failed to consult any of the people actually affected and as a consequence addressed none of the negative impacts that would arise from the scheme.
A sign that after years of tireless campaigning, local people were finally beginning to be listened to, the decision to reject the plan was based predominantly on the grounds that the supposed regeneration benefits resulting from Grainger's scheme would not outweigh the loss that would be caused by the demolition: a tacit acceptance by the council of the strength of the community on the site and the real viability of their proposals to achieve the improvements to the area everyone wants to see.
What lies ahead is no longer a never-ending series of legal battles and policy challenges. Instead, we are approaching a broad horizon, a place where we can create the futures we want to see for ourselves and our communities.
There is more work to do now than ever before but the balance is shifting in our favour. The name Wards Corner is resonating in the ears of developers, councils and campaigns across the country, but the onus is on us to utilise
this opportunity to bring forward the community-led plans we have always wanted for this site, to show that together we can realise the many varied aspirations of this community.
Next we will be continuing to develop ways to truthfully involve the entire community in the expansion of a plan for the entire site. Alongside this we'll also be exploring avenues of collaboration with various organisations and the
council to ensure Wards Corner is developed in line with the aspirations of the community.
How to get involved
- Come to one of our weekly meetings every Monday at 7pm, Garden House Restaurant, 410 High Rd, Tottenham
- Check out our website www.wardscornercommunity.org.uk for updates and upcoming events.
Online video of planning meeting:
- Published: 26 July 2011