London Latin Village flats plan scrapped

Developer Grainger has scrapped plans to demolish a much-loved Latin American market in Tottenham in the face of vocal community opposition.
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Developer Grainger has scrapped plans to demolish a much-loved Latin American indoor market in Tottenham to make way for luxury flats, with no social housing provision, in the face of vocal opposition from the local community.

The scheme, which was approved in 2012, would have seen Grainger pull down the historic Wards Building and the Seven Sisters Indoor Market – known locally as the Latin Village – to make way for the new flats. The loss of the market would have been a particular blow for London’s growing Latin American Community as it was the city’s only remaining Latin cultural hub following the demolition of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre in South London last year.

Local residents and market traders have campaigned against the development ever since it was announced, claiming it was a gentrification project that would displace poorer, ethnically diverse local communities.

In a statement, Grainger blamed its decision to pull out on “the drawn-out nature of implementing the scheme owing to numerous legal challenges from a small but vocal minority, [as well as] the complexity of the site and the changing economic environment”.

Following Grainger’s withdrawal from the site, Haringey Council, the local authority in the area, published its own statement saying it now planned to work alongside traders, and with Transport for London, which owns the land, “to explore the vision of delivering a new community-led development, with Seven Sisters Market and the wider local community at its heart”.

For several years, local campaigners have been attempting to promote their own plan for redevelopment of the dilapidated site and surrounding neighbourhood. The community plan devised by the West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust proposes the restoration of the existing buildings and their administration by a democratically run community benefit society.

Image: Seven Sisters Market, courtesy Chris Whippet/Geograph.org.uk/Creative Commons.

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