Council now clear to push ahead with major rebuild after winning support in ballot, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
A 2,600-home regeneration scheme can go ahead after people living on an estate narrowly backed Haringey Council’s plan for its redevelopment.
The council’s plan won the support of 55.7% of residents of the Love Lane Estate in Tottenham who voted in a three-week ballot that closed on Monday, 6th September. The turnout was 69.4% of eligible voters.
It means the 297-home estate can be demolished to make way for the High Road West regeneration scheme, which will also provide open spaces and community facilities.
Under Greater London Authority rules, estate regeneration projects that involve the demolition of homes must have the backing of a majority of residents before they can receive funding from City Hall. The Love Lane vote was the first of its kind in Haringey.
The council approved a plan to regenerate the area of the High Road opposite Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2014. In 2017, it signed a deal with developer Lendlease that included a plan for 30% affordable homes and 145 social rent homes.
Earlier this year, the council won £91million from the government and Mayor of London to more than triple the number of affordable homes on the scheme. The funding boost allowed it to offer a council-rent home to all secure and eligible non-secure tenants on Love Lane Estate, as well as 250 families on the social housing waiting list.
Despite the improved housing offer, campaigners Haringey Defend Council Housing and Temporary Accommodation Group (TAG) Love Lane had called on residents to reject the plan. TAG called for legally-binding guarantees from the council that residents would be offered replacement homes. Businesses on Peacock Industrial Estate, which face having to move out to make way for the development, have also opposed the plans.
The narrow win for the council prompted the borough’s Liberal Democrats to call for continued engagement with residents over their “many worries” about the scheme.
Lib Dem housing spokesperson Dawn Barnes said: “It is vitally important that, given the relatively close result of the ballot, engagement with residents continues. The new leader promised a ‘massive shift’ in the way the council talks and listens to communities, and she must follow that up with action.”
Cllr Barnes added: “With under 40% of eligible voters signalling their approval of this regeneration, it is clear that there are still many worries about the scheme, and the council and developer must continue to deal with the genuinely held concerns of those on Love Lane. Furthermore, there are still no guarantees for businesses on Peacock Estate, which the council must deal with as a matter of urgency.”
Council leader Peray Ahmet said: “We are adopting a collaborative approach to redevelopment, so it is only right that local people had the final say on the future of their neighbourhood. I’d like to thank everyone who voted and took time over many years to tell us what they wanted from the scheme. We have worked hard to ensure their needs have been prioritised.
“The vote in favour of the plans means that we can now progress, including building 500 new council homes. As we take the next steps in the process, we will continue to listen to the views of residents and work together to shape the scheme’s design, the layout of the new homes and the community improvements.
“It’s important that the scheme will keep the community together, protecting the relationships and networks they have formed, and will be part of our programme to build 3,000 desperately-needed council homes over the next decade.”
Bek Seeley, estate developer Lendlease’s managing director for development in Europe, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the local community, and with Haringey Council, on delivering vital new and affordable housing, jobs and open space. This is a very significant opportunity to work together to sustain and enhance a vibrant neighbourhood and provide new opportunities for all.”