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Opinion: Tottenham tenants face demolition under Spurs' stadium regeneration plans

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Opinion: Tottenham tenants face demolition under Spurs' stadium regeneration plans


Published by Anonymous for in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government

Opinion: Tottenham tenants face demolition under Spurs' stadium regeneration plans Opinion: Tottenham tenants face demolition under Spurs' stadium regeneration plans

Paul Burnham, of Haringey Defend Council Housing, argues that far from improving Tottenham's neighbourhoods, the new Spurs stadium and associated regeneration plans will destory local communities.

The residents of 297 council homes at Love Lane in Tottenham are facing the possible demolition of their homes as part of a “Spurs-led” redevelopment that will receive £40 million in public subsidy, even though Tottenham Hotspur is the 13th richest football club in the world. £5m of the public funding would come from the sale of the land on which the Love Lane estate stands.

Haringey Council has offered the residents three “options” for redevelopment: the demolition of some of the estate, most of it, or all of it. The council has not offered any option to retain, and invest in, all the existing council homes in the area.

As David Cunningham, of Ermine House, one of the residential blocks, says: “The big problem is that there is no plan for fixing what’s there, to restore the blocks to good order. They are letting big business dictate the terms. It’s all geared up for Tottenham Hotspur.”

Haringey Council promises that new social housing would be built on the site. But scandalously, the council has not yet told tenants whether the new homes would be let at existing council “target” rents, with permanent tenancies, or at much higher near-market rents, with five-year tenancies.

The redevelopment is part of a council ‘Plan for Tottenham’ that aims to increase local housing costs (rents and property values), potentially pricing local people out of the area. Funding for the Love Lane plan includes £8.5 million from the Mayor of London for a splendid “walkway” from White Hart Lane Station to the new Spurs ground – right through where Ermine House and the Whitehall Street blocks now stand.

Tenants who move into near-market rent homes could be hit by the benefit cap which is being trialled in Haringey and three other London boroughs, before being imposed on the rest of the country. These families could be forced to join the exodus of low-income Haringey residents to the Midlands and the North of England.

The council says that it will announce its proposed tenancy strategy, including the types of tenancy to be offered to those whose council homes are being demolished, this week, but many months late, and DURING the consultation, which began on 29th April, on the Love Lane demolitions.

The campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing has held three meetings with the residents of the Love Lane/Whitehall St. estate over the last few months. More than 50 residents have attended. We feel that people’s concerns about their homes and their future are being cynically neglected, and that full information has not been provided to affected residents.

We are calling on Haringey Council:

  • To provide an option of improvement not demolition for all the council housing at Love Lane. This should include a concierge service and new kitchens and bathrooms, to reach the Decent Homes Standard. 
  • To provide a Secure Tenancy to any tenant facing the demolition of their home. No council tenant displaced by demolition should be given an Assured Tenancy, which would give them fewer rights than a council Secure Tenancy. 
  • To ensure that all new tenancies must be permanent. No to so-called “Affordable Rent” tenancies with rents at 65%-80% of market levels.
  • To provide clarity about the level of rents and the type of tenancy that tenants can expect, BEFORE consulting about whether residents want their homes demolished.
  • To demand that Spurs put investment money back into the community, given the vast profit they stand to make from this redevelopment. 


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