“Hearing on-going”: Council accused of ‘social cleansing’ in development

Residents opposing Haringey Council’s attempts to purchase their homes and businesses have told a public hearing it amounts to “social cleansing”.

Planning clearance for up to 3,000 residential units and commercial space near the Tottenham stadium in north London was given by the council last year.

It asserts that utilizing a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to purchase properties designated for demolition is the only way the project will be completed on schedule.

However, many claim to be against the proposals.

Together with a library and learning center, office space, a public park, and an energy center, the authority stated the ideas would make a “significant contribution to the regeneration of the area” and create thousands of employment, better travel connections, and millions of pounds in economic benefits.

However, because hundreds of homes and businesses will be razed, including those on the Love Lane housing estate and the Peacock Industrial Estate, it has drawn objections from locals and business owners.

‘We are the wrong sort’

Living on the Love Lane estate, Mary Powell is a leaseholder who informed the inquiry that the measures permit “social cleansing to take place.”

She made the following claim Thursday during a public inquiry in Tottenham, which was presided over by the council’s planning inspector: “We are the wrong sort of homeowners and do not belong in the new vision of High Road West.”

The estate was viewed in a “prejudiced” manner, according to Ms. Powell, who also alleged that the council had overseen “a period of managed decline since 2012 if not earlier” with certain repairs and enhancements going uncompleted.

Aerial view of the stadium in Tottenham with businesses and homes to the left being among those to be demolished
Alecos Tryfonas said accepting new premises in the area would mean “losing everything we have as a family”

 She also said while relocation options seemed “superficially inviting”, the costs and phasing of the development were “more likely to drive me and other resident leaseholders out of the area”.

She explained she could afford a one-bedroom flat on the new scheme but it would be “much smaller” than her current home, and she did not want to consider an equity loan to secure a bigger home because she is “mortgage free” thanks to “hard work and frugal living”.

‘All we worked for’

Alecos Tryfonas, meanwhile, claimed that the properties were “all we worked for and what we own as a family” and that he would “never be able to replicate that anywhere.” His family owns several Tottenham High Road properties that are scheduled for demolition, including a Chick King takeaway and an apartment occupied by his aging parents.

Although the council is dedicated to collaborating with companies, it stated that those moving to High Road West would be given leaseholds rather than freeholds.

“Losing everything we have as a family: our freeholds, the rest of the business, my mom’s house, my sister’s house,” Mr. Tryfonas stated, referring to the acceptance of new premises.

He said he would not wish his experience on anyone.

“I was told one morning by the local authority that shops are going to go, my property is going to be demolished – and there has never been any consultation or option to retain the property,” he stated.

The High Court challenge by Tottenham Hotspur FC over the plans was unsuccessful, and the court was informed that a petition opposing the demolition of High Road stores had amassed more than 4,500 signatures. This led to the public inquiry.

The evidence hearing is anticipated to last until November 22.

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