Small business owners in Tottenham have expressed their concerns to The Enfield Independent about the planned regeneration scheme pushing them out of the area.
The scheme is planned for the sites opposite the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and entails knocking down some of the existing buildings to make way for up to 2929 new homes in the area, out of which 564 homes would be for council rent.
Haringey Community Press reported last month that there had been several objections to the redevelopment plan including one from Tottenham Hotspur football club, raising concerns over the impact of the scheme on the area’s heritage.
The letter written by Daniel Levy to the council was then made public, with the Spurs chairman making it clear that the proposals for the scheme are not fit for purpose and expressing the club’s discontent at the lack of jobs created in the area (Football.London).
In light of the concerns voiced, a decision on the scheme is now not expected to be made until June.
Small business owners in the area have told The Enfield Independent that the redevelopment scheme could destroy their livelihoods.
Alex Tryfonos, who runs Chick-King in Tottenham High Road, which has been in his family since 1981, is quoted as saying: “We were told whatever happens, everything will be demolished. There is no compromise. I have lived in the area for over 40 years, my parents still live here and my sister still lives here.
“We were the local economy of this borough for so many years. Now, all of a sudden, we are not the local economy anymore. It’s quite difficult to comprehend what we are going through. We could lose our businesses and our livelihoods.”
Devrim Tangul, who has owned Tottenham Hot Spuds Cafe in White Hart Lane for more than 15 years, said about the plans: “We don’t want to go, and that is it.
“At the end of the day, this land here […] does not belong to the council, it belongs to other people. It is freehold. How can you effectively take a freehold and give it back as a leasehold?
“I’ve got a 16-year-old son and an eleven-year-old daughter. My son comes and helps me during the school holidays and on Saturdays. He is learning something here. He grew up in this shop.
“My daughter loves coming and helping us. This is our bread and butter. My daughter says ‘when I get a little bit older, I am going to work in the shop, and I’ll cook better than you’.”
Responding to the criticism, a Haringey Council spokesperson said: “The council is committed to working with businesses to find suitable relocation options that meet their individual requirements and aspirations.
“In the first instance, we are looking at a small row of shops, most of which are already leasehold properties. We are helping to support them in moving to appropriate premises.
“Detailed discussions with businesses north of White Hart Lane have yet to take place, and we look forward to working with them in the future. We recently balloted our residents, who voted ‘yes’ to progress with the High Road West scheme.
“This will deliver 500 affordable, high-quality council homes along with a major regeneration of the area, including a new health centre, library, open spaces and employment opportunities that will benefit a large number of people in the local area.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Haringey Council might have to modify their plans to make sure the local heritage of the area is preserved. It is good that the club have also voiced their opposition to the redevelopment plans, although their reasons for doing so could be quite different to that of the local business owners.
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