Mass walkout at meeting as Grainger stonewalls Wards Corner concerns
May 31, 2012
The council-run Development Management Forum, for Grainger’s resubmitted Wards Corner site planning application, ended abruptly on Wednesday night. Members of the public walked out when it became clear there was no one present who could answer their questions.
Two hundred people from many parts of Tottenham’s local community came to express their views about this controversial proposal and have their questions answered. It quickly became apparent that Paul Smith, the Haringey planning officer chairing the meeting, and the developer’s representatives, were not going to address the legitimate and heartfelt concerns of residents and traders facing eviction. Grainger did not send any of their senior development staff and the council officers refused to answer why they were continuing to back the scheme when they are currently legally obliged to uphold their planning decision last year to refuse Grainger.
After a half-hour delay in starting the meeting, audience members grew increasingly agitated when no responses were forthcoming from the Grainger reps, despite this having been a key reason for holding the forum. But it was when Paul Smith put the assembled public on a “second warning”, threatening to close the meeting if there was any more dissent, that many people got up and left, labelling the meeting a farce.
Moaz Nanjuany, Chair of Tottenham Traders Association said ‘I cannot understand how the Council and Grainger can morally justify getting into bed together and going against public opinion again and again’.