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Opinion: Spurs new stadium aggrandisement - Tottenham community won't be red-carded

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Opinion: Spurs new stadium aggrandisement - Tottenham community won't be red-carded

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Development, Housing, Local Government

Opinion: Spurs new stadium aggrandisement - Tottenham community won't be red-carded Opinion: Spurs new stadium aggrandisement - Tottenham community won't be red-carded

By Martin Ball, Tottenham Hale resident and community campaigner

The compulsory purchase order red card given to the business said to be in the way of the planned new Spurs stadium is not the end of the fight for those resisting both the stadia aggrandisement and the social cleansing consequences of the wider regeneration agenda.

The destiny of the Tottenham community is not something to be pre-ordained by the Spurs-Haringey Council-Mayor of London-central government axis determined to 'place-change' the area. We have our own ambitions for the future and it isn't their top-down vision. It is to improve the place we currently have and not kick people out because they are the wrong type.

Our opposition to being bullied into submission goes on and is even emboldened by the revelation that the planning inspector opposed the CPO being granted.

Bravely, he questioned whether the gains to the community justified the amount of public money going into funding the ambitions for a privately-owned football team to have a shiny new stadium, as well as expressing concern for the human rights of the business being tossed to one side. On a different day, a judge reviewing the Pickles decision might side with the inspector.

The most interesting revelation, though, is that so deficient is the affordable homes provision in the stadium plans that the Tory secretary of state tried to give a Labour Council some backbone to get a better deal out of Spurs.

He rightly asked why it was necessary to waive the standard requirement for new developments to have 50% affordable housing - but the council mouse dared not roar in case the club threatened again to leave the area and take their regen ball away.

But you don't have to be close to the detail of the stadium plans or the wider 'place-changing' agenda to be alarmed by what is proposed. Simply knowing that the plan involves bulldozing through shops on the High Road, council homes on the Love Lane Estate, and demolishing a public library for a fans walkway tells you all you need to know about its social cleansing drive.

This disgusting proposal reveals the indifference of those making the regeneration calls to the impact of their plans on the lives of ordinary people. Mind you, a senior council regeneration officer recently called Tottenham a 'war zone'. So, we know what they think of us and where we live.

What disgusts me most about the regenerationists' agenda is the arrogant presumption that they are improving things. That the present is so bad that the promise of that place somewhere over the rainbow in 20 years’ time is better than what people have today.

Despite the propaganda, this is not case for Tottenham. The homes earmarked for knocking down are in good condition and actually had money recently spent on then to make them decent. The shops are derided as low value businesses, yet the 'chicken shop' run by one of the local businessmen is one of the most popular eateries on the High Road.

The belittling of this business is an attack on people's lifestyle choices and is naked snobbery about 'fast food'. Some may not like it said, but this is a successful business built up over many years - during lean years when politicians did little for Tottenham - that employs local people and provides a good living for the owners. It is not them who are doing or talking the area down.

So, Spurs and Haringey Council, the game is far from over. The bulldozers are not even on the pitch. The community will stop your agenda to push people and businesses out of their Tottenham home.

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