Haringey Council backs down on flat demolitions

 Posted by on 5th November 2018
Nov 052018
 

Haringey Council backs down on flat demolitions

By Simon Alli Local Democracy Reporter, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey - Enfield Independent
 
Campaigners have hailed a “victory for people power” after the council suggested it would rip up plans to knock down social housing as part of a regeneration scheme.

Tenants feared nearly 300 homes could be demolished under the Wood Green Area Action Plan – a regeneration scheme drawn up by Haringey Council in 2016 under Claire Kober’s Labour administration.

The plans could have forced hundreds of social housing tenants out of the Sky City and Page High estates – with no guarantee they would be re-housed inside the borough.

But the current Labour administration, elected in May on a pledge to protect social housing, has announced it does not intend to go ahead with the plans.

Councillor Charles Adje, cabinet member for strategic regeneration, said: “This new administration has made it clear that social housing is at our very heart.

“We have listened to representations made by residents of Page High and Sky City, and by the Mall, and are intending to remove these sites from redevelopment plans.”

Dr Adrian Chapman, chair of Page High Tenants’ Association, said: “This is a victory for people power in Haringey.

“It shows that communities, when they band together and organise collectively, can be strong.

“When there is a groundswell of opinion, and ordinary people are prepared to make their voices heard, policy changes can be forced.”

Mr Chapman said the tenants’ association would now lobby the council to make improvements to the estates, which were built in the 1970s above The Mall shopping centre in Wood Green.

Paul Burnham, secretary of Haringey Defend Council Housing, said: “This is an example of people power.

“The all-powerful council and developers turn up with their steam rollers, and essentially people protest and campaign, and it is actually possible to stop it.”

The Wood Green Area Action Plan was drawn up as part of the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) – a plan to provide 6,400 homes for the borough in a £2 billion partnership with private firm Lendlease.

But campaigners claimed many of the borough’s residents would not be able to afford the new homes, and their efforts led to a wave of pro-HDV councillors being deselected in the run-up to May’s local elections.

Haringey’s current administration confirmed in July that it was scrapping the HDV.

The council said Page High and Sky City could be refurbished and repurposed after consulting with residents on the estates’ future.

Cllr Adje added: “Let there be no doubt: we have ambitious plans for Wood Green, including creating thousands of homes and jobs, and a modern, green and sustainable town centre – delivering the change our communities have told us they want to see.

“But regeneration is not just about shiny new buildings, it is also about social and economic change.

“This decision shows that we will listen to residents and will deliver the kind of change that works for all.”

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