Our Tottenham objects to the Council proposals for the re-engineering of much of Wood Green

Please see below and attached the Our Tottenham Planning Policy Working Group objections to the Council’s highly controversial proposals for the social and physical re-engineering of much of Wood Green.


Full Report here

Introduction / summary of the Our Tottenham response

The stated aim of the Wood Green Area Action Plan (AAP) is to facilitate and deliver the regeneration of Wood Green, to make it ‘north London’s most prosperous and liveable town centre’ (p. 54). Some of the key assumptions underpinning the AAP, and thus its most significant (and controversial) proposals, are uncertain. In particular, they are based on the arrival of Crossrail 2 in the area, which has not been confirmed. The National Infrastructure Commission have recommended that Crossrail 2 bypass Wood Green and Turnpike Lane altogether (saving the rail project over £4 billion). If the arrival of Crossrail 2 in the area is not confirmed, there is no case for the proposed increase in densities, nor a case for major reconfiguration of the town centre between the High Rd/Library and Coburg Rd around a new ‘central’ square and the demolition of the Mall and of a set of viable homes.

The AAP, in its depiction of the local economy, existing businesses and more generally the state of the area, often implies that some segments of the established population (those with ‘low purchasing power’, p. 6), businesses and shops are a hurdle or problem to be overcome or displaced, rather than seeing them as part of the solution.

It advocates a high-risk, disruptive, large-scale redevelopment of the town centre involving harm and potentially long-term damage to those established residents and businesses. The aim of attracting new investments, new residents, new businesses and new development to Wood Green which underpins the AAP 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 and homes which locals (in particular low-skilled and low-income) can access and developments which generate true and significant benefits or facilities accessible to the community.

Regeneration should not lead to gentrification in which local residents are forced or priced out of the area. We do not want a form of regeneration which will over-develop Wood Green, which will push up house prices and private rents, reduce the amount of council housing in the area, have inadequate social infrastructure, force out small shops and businesses, encourage the exploitation of low-paid workers, and drive out large numbers of the poor and members of ethnic minorities to make way for a new higher-income population. The strategic priority given to new, large-scale development in Wood Green in the London Plan and in the Haringey Local Plan consultation documents cannot be realised at the expense of the people already living and working here. The implications for existing and future social infrastructure of the proposed 7,000+ new homes are not well considered in the AAP.

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