Submission to Regeneration Committee on London Assembly Investigation of Stadium-led regeneration

London Assembly Stadium-led regeneration
Regeneration Committee

Submission on behalf of the Local Economy Group of the Our Tottenham network. 14th August 2014
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The Our Tottenham network brings together 40 key local community groups, projects and campaigns standing up for the interests of people in Tottenham, especially around planning and regeneration issues (http://ourtottenham.org.uk/?page_id=31). We work together to fight for our neighbourhoods, our community facilities and the needs of our communities throughout Tottenham. This response, formulated by the Local Economy Group, is based on the principles embedded in the Community Charter for Tottenham agreed by the Our Tottenham network on 6 April 2013 (available here: http://ourtottenham.wordpress.com/community-charter/). This was followed up by a Community Planning for Tottenham conference in February 2014.

Terms of reference

The purpose of the Committee’s investigation is to:

–          Review evidence from past and current stadium-led regeneration schemes to assess the benefits of stadium development programmes to both football clubs and local communities;

The history of stadium-led regeneration schemes is older in the USA and consequently there is a much deeper evidence base of the claimed benefits for such projects.

The issue of stadium development has become centred on whether the claimed economic benefits flow from state subsidies provided to sports franchises through the building of new sports stadiums.  Numerous researchers have examined the relationship between new facilities and economic growth in metropolitan areas in the USA, see: Baade & Dye, 1990;[1] Rosentraub & Swindell, 1993;[2] 1996, Noll & Zimbalist, 1997[3].  In each case, independent analysis of economic impacts made by newly built stadiums and arenas has uniformly found no statistically significant positive correlation between sport facility construction and economic development (Siegfried & Zimbalist, 2000)[4].  This can be contrasted with the claims of teams and colleagues, who emphasize the large economic benefits of professional franchises merit significant public expenditures on stadiums and arenas, (Matheson, 2002)[1].

–          Review the role of the Mayor in stadium regeneration schemes and assess the extent to which his objectives for stadium-led regeneration in the London Plan are being met; and

The OT Network believes that the ‘stadium-led regeneration’ does not deliver broad community benefit or that the larger stadium will enable it to ‘host a wide range of community activities’.  There has not been any genuine participation with local stakeholders to promote and develop sporting facilities.

In general terms the aim enshrined in the approach to planning in Tottenham – by the London Plan, the Upper Lee Valley Opportunity Area Planning Framework and the Area Action Plans for Tottenham that Haringey Council has recently consulted on – of attracting new investments, new residents, new businesses and new development to Tottenham should not be done at the expense of the existing community, i.e. by displacing local residents and local businesses; and it should actually improve the lives of existing residents (by creating jobs which locals can access and developments which generate true and significant benefits or facilities accessible to the community).[2]

We wish to draw attention to the way in which existing businesses lying within the development areas in North Tottenham, including the area around the proposed new stadium have been ignored and dismissed by local plans and development proposals.  We fully support the work of the Tottenham Business Group to try to redress this.

Plans drawn up by Arup, linked to the Tottenham stadium development in High Road West, involve the displacement of existing businesses and social housing. Options which could have prevented the displacement of existing businesses were presented by the developer Arup, but rejected by Haringey Council.  Plans for the High Road West Scheme in Tottenham would demolish the existing Peacock Industrial Estate that contains numerous small and medium business enterprises.

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