Spurs Ground Development An Own Goal for Tottenham?

June 21, 2010

The Spurs Ground Development is not just about a new stadium. It also involves the building of new housing, a supermarket, luxury hotel and more.

It’s happening on our doorstep and will affect our lives:
– who will our new neighbours?
– for anyone living in temporary accommodation, maybe you’re hoping to move into one of the flats one day.
– how will it affect local services, businesses and crime?

– We need to have our say at the Development Management Forum
Thursay 24 June, 7pm, at Haringey Sixth Form Centre, White Hart Lane (just off Tottenham High Road), N17.

A punter’s guide to planning
The full plans are on the Planning section of Haringey council’s website, under the reference HGY/2010/1000. Comments can be sent to spursapplicationteam@nullharingey.gov.uk. Most of us don’t have the time or the experience to make sense of them, but on Thursday, we can raise questions and hear the planners’ response. If Spurs and Haringey Council really care about the community, they use this development as an opportunity to improve services and facilities in the area for local residents. How much is this the case?

Better Transport?
The football stadium is going to hold 56,250 people.  How will they get there? There have already been complaints that no parking facilities would be built for match spectators. Is Spurs giving money to Transport for London for better public transport in the area? 

Better Housing?
Only 50% of the housing will be “affordable housing” – a mix of social housing (housing association) and part-buy, part-rent.  The council doesn’t recommend more affordable housing because it wants “mixed communities”, mixing the rich with the poor.  But how many rich or middle class people will live in the other 50%? More likely, landlords will buy them and rent them out privately, or to the council. This will benefit the landlords and Spurs, but certainly not local residents. Why not just allocate these to social housing now?

Good quality, genuinely affordable housing is what’s needed here. Spurs are planning to build 200 homes. But if the housing is bad quality, it will lead to a high turnover in population which is not good for the community. 

The general quality of the housing, including accessibility, has not been described with enough details in the plans. We should be demanding that the council requires Spurs to submit detailed plans of the housing, before they can be approved.

Crime and Safety
The way a building is designed can affect crime and the fear of crime. The amount of lighting for example is important. Also, how many entrances are there from the street? The more the better, so there’s less dead space in front, which can make you feel vulnerable when you walk past, particularly at night. More entrances, with people coming in and out all along the front, can have a friendlier feel. Planners don’t like it because it’s more expensive, but they don’t have to live there!

Local business
How will the supermarket affect local business, residents and workers? Will the supermarket formpart of the high road or will it face away from the street, with its own car park, encouraging people to load up and drive off. If so, local business will lose out and the sense of community will gradually disappear.

The N17 studios had more than 30 local businesses employing dozens of people. What jobs are being created now that these are going? Casual jobs for supermarket workers and match day stewards, most of them low paid or part-time agency work. Again, who is benefiting here?

Better services
Has the development anything to offer in terms of welfare and improving the social conditions for the people of North Tottenham? NHS Haringey have requested that the new proposed urban centre should include a new health, children and social care facility located on the site. We should support the proposal and we must demand to get better services and facilities as a result of the development.

Big regeneration projects usually mean the destruction of the local community at the benefit of big corporations business and profits. Let us make sure this does not happen at “The Lane”!


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