Protest after developer fences off playground

Council leader slams developer over sudden move, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Protestors call for the hoardings to be removed during a demonstration on 2nd July (credit Clive Carter)
Protestors call for the hoardings to be removed during a demonstration on 2nd July (credit Clive Carter)

Dozens of residents staged a protest after a playground was fenced off by a developer without permission.

The demonstration was held on Friday, 2nd July after Paul Simon Homes put up hoardings around Elizabeth Place play area in Lawrence Road, Tottenham.

Local people have fixed signs to the two-metre high hoardings, which appeared on Thursday, 24th June, calling for the play area to be returned to the community. 

Photos show construction material has been left strewn across the site, and campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing believes Paul Simon Homes wants to use the land for temporary cabins, or a contractor’s compound, during the building period. 

The firm won permission in 2018 to build 80 homes in a redevelopment of a site at 45-63 Lawrence Road. But according to the council the play area was not part of the approved scheme, and the authority has written to Paul Simon Homes calling for it to be restored to its previous condition.

Haringey Council leader Peray Ahmet said in a statement that it was “completely unacceptable” for the developer to have boarded up the playground without permission. 

“I am very sorry for the distress this has caused parents and people in the local area,” Cllr Ahmet added. “This is an important park for parents and children, and I will make sure that it reopens and that the developers pay for the park to be improved.”

Haringey Defend Council Housing said that after the protest the developer put up a notice claiming that the land behind the hoarding is private.

Paul Simon Homes has been approached for comment.