Dear friends, the time has come for you to be our active supporters in the struggle against the Compulsory Purchase Order for Wards Corner.
Haringey Council have issued a CPO to support the developer Grainger to force the sale of the parts of Wards Corner that they need, to enable them to demolish the whole block and build private flats. No social housing, not even ‘affordable’. Meanwhile Grainger is going ahead on the opposite corner, with building a huge tower block, 23 storeys, with 165 private flats, replacing the council’s Customer Service facility Apex House.
We have a better plan. Rather than just saying No to demolition, we have an alternative. Our Community Plan would restore the building and open the 2446m2 of closed-up space above the market and in the 1910 corner store. This also has planning permission from Haringey Council. If they and Transport for London would work with the community, we can create a brilliant resource with much improved market, an arts centre, starter workshops, a restaurant and office space; it will become a tourism magnet. Directly above Seven Sisters underground station, it is just 13 minutes from Oxford Circus. It will save the unique indoor market which has become home-from-home to many of London’s Latin American people, the market will not survive the double displacement and rent hikes that the Grainger plan would effect. Our plan has financial backing, we can’t wait to get started on it once this nonsense of the CPO is out of the way; we’ve waited four years already since getting planning permission. We know we can bring it back to a new life.
In addition to the market, the Grainger plan will mean the demolition of the whole town centre – ten shops including the Beauty Shop with flats above, other cafes, and twelve homes in Suffield Road.
The CPO will now go to a public enquiry, in March/April. This is run by an independent Inspector. It has to judge whether the CPO – ie forcibly taking property – would be more in the public interest than not. We have a very strong case for the CPO being refused. But Grainger and Haringey Council will each have teams of barristers and solicitors, possibly QCs. There is no funding available via Legal Aid to challenge a CPO. Objectors – us – will be cross-examined by these lawyers – not a prospect most of us would relish. But Shepherds Bush market recently won against a CPO, this is a far from done deal, though the council and the developer are treating us as if they can just push ahead regardless. The council Leader said last month that ‘Wards Corner is an eyesore’ – so why haven’t they and Transport for London (which owns the market site) done better since the Wards store was closed up in 1973? 43 years, all that wasted space and time…
We have launched a crowdfunder to raise some of the £1000s we need for legal fees to have representation at the public enquiry. PLEASE circulate this link on all your networks – FB, twitter, snapchat, all of them. If you can donate, even better.
http://tinyurl.com/savewcc is the short form, easy to send.
We love the film on that site! It’s only about the market, we will be making more information available in this next few weeks.
Wards Corner Community Coalition