Lordship Rec

BWF/Lordship Leaflet: Defend our local estates and park… and support each other! (March 2015)
Why refurbishment is always better than demolition  OurTottenhamHousingFactsheetDemolitions

Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association, Broadwater United Sports And Football Academy, and Friends of Lordship Rec

Broadwater Farm / Lordship area under threat

Object now to shocking Council proposals which could lead to future demolition and ‘redevelopment’ of Broadwater Farm, Somerset Close, Lido Square and Moira Close, and to house-building on Lordship Rec…

Email the Council: ldf@haringey.gov.uk

The facts
The Council’s planning department are proposing a demolition and ‘redevelopment’ zone for the ‘Broadwater Farm Area’. This area includes not only the estate and all its marvelous community facilities, but also Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close and the houses along Lordship Lane to the north. We have been told that the proposal would include housing to be built on a large chunk of the north end of Lordship Recreation Ground, including the enclosed sports field, to temporarily re-house some of those displaced by any future demolitions.

The proposed zone is indicated by a red line on a map (see right) taken from the Council’s draft Local Plan for Haringey 2011-2026 – ‘Site Allocation 63’. If this proposal is not chucked out now it would mean increased powers for property developers throughout that zone in the future, backed by Council encouragement and support. There is a borough-wide consultation over the whole draft Plan, with March 27 as the deadline for people to object to any proposals. We say object strongly and object now!

A threat to our community
This totally unnecessary attack on local communities and our park would cause massive stress to all concerned, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build a strong and stable local community and to improve local facilities. Local residents have worked long and hard to make Broadwater Farm one of the most attractive and well-served estates in the UK, and to make Lordship Rec the great park it now is – including the sports field, home of Broadwater United youth football teams. The estate and park have won many national awards for successful community-led regeneration and empowerment, and are now admired throughout the world. The Council should be celebrating what has been achieved instead of allowing planners to dream up outrageous proposals to destroy existing homes and facilities and break up our communities….

Broadwater Farm
The residents, and the Residents’ Association, have worked with the Council to dramatically improve the estate over the last 30 yrs. It now has great facilities, play areas, health centre, schools and so on. In the last 6 years a range of refurbishments and repairs have been made – yet bizarrely it has now been put on a list of Council estates facing ‘redevelopment’. We say it is the Council’s duty as the landlord to finish off all the works started and ensure any repairs are done promptly.

Somerset Close, Lido Square and Moira Close
These are pleasant low-rise estates of secure and affordable housing with gardens. Council planners, however, have somehow proposed these particular estates to be ‘suitable for tall buildings’ of 6-11 storeys in the future.

Lordship Rec
Over the last 10 years Lordship Rec park users and the Friends of Lordship Rec have worked with the Parks’ Service to achieve a successful, nationally-celebrated, community-led regeneration of Tottenham’s largest public park. The Lottery would demand their £4m grant back! The park is safeguarded and protected for all time by a covenant preventing any part of it being developed or sold off – and park users have pledged to defend it. A Council planner has told us that the proposed use of a large part of the Rec for house-building is because ‘otherwise the demolitions on the estate could not go ahead’.

Sports Field
Broadwater United officials and volunteers have managed and helped maintain this essential facility for youth football for over 20 years – there are currently 11 teams based there. This has made a huge difference to young people in the area, being a key part of the area’s positive transformation.

Rights of residents?
The council and Housing Associations have an obligation to re-house secure tenants if their homes are knocked down. But where? There would be pressure to accept places out of the area, or housing association properties with higher rents and poorer tenancy rights.  Leaseholders would be bought out, but would be unlikely to be able to afford anywhere local (probably not even in London) to move to. Private tenants on the estates would be made homeless. Residents would have to be ‘consulted’ but such ‘consultations’ are usually biased in favour of what the Council has already planned for the area.

Why are they proposing this?
The Council aim to cram thousands of extra homes into an already densely populated borough in order to reach the Mayor of London’s housing targets. These homes are usually expensive private homes unaffordable to local people in need. Property developers care about only one thing, maximum profits for themselves. This suits the Council as they want to sell off public land and facilities to generate income. The result is local people being priced out of Tottenham in favour of ‘gentrification’.

What we should all do
Its vital we continue to speak out for the needs of our community, and support each other. That’s been our strength and our success over the last 30 years in this area. Please support and get involved in local community groups. Most urgently, please object NOW! Deadline is March 27.

Please send an objection to the Council before March 27, along the following lines…

We object strongly to the draft Local Plan proposal SA63 for a demolition and redevelopment zone covering Broadwater Farm, Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close, some houses along Lordship Lane, and the northern part of Lordship Recreation Ground, including the enclosed sports field.

The proposal would cause massive stress to all concerned, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build a strong and stable local community and to improve local facilities. It breaches a whole range of planning policies which should protect our community.

It is unacceptable & should be withdrawn immediately. Instead the Council must work with the community to protect, support & improve all the existing homes, estates, facilities & communities in the area.

Email to: ldf@haringey.gov.uk  Or post to: LBH Planning Policy, River Park House, High Road N22 8HQ

More info can be found at: www.lordshiprec.org.uk/bwflordship/
We ask all local organisations to back the campaign. Contact us to let us know: bwflordship@gmail.com

Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association
Broadwater United Sports And Football Academy
Friends of Lordship Rec


Broadwater Farm / Lordship Area ‘Redevelopment’ Threat

Further information
A formal and statutory objection process

This is part of a long, formal, statutory objection process. This proposal and all the Local Plan documents have to be submitted to an independent, national Planning Inspector at a public enquiry (probably lasting for some weeks in the Civic Centre) later in 2015. The Inspector has the power to reject any of the proposals. The objections will be collated, and those objecting will be able to put their case directly to the Inspector.

The proposals sound crazy, but have been confirmed by the Council
The proposals as set out in our leaflet have been confirmed by senior Council officers. We couldn’t believe the proposals when we first heard about them. However…

Steve Kelly from the Council’s Planning Department spoke at the Tangmere Steering Committee on Broadwater Farm in February and when challenged admitted that the land on Lordship Recreation Ground would be needed for housing for people displaced by any demolitions on Broadwater Farm.

Matthew Patterson, the Council’s Interim Head of Policy, Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, also confirmed to a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec on 20th February that the inclusion of the northern part of Lordship Rec in the development zone is for the power to build housing to ‘decant’ the residents of Broadwater Farm (or many of them) into that area of the park ‘otherwise the demolitions on the estate could not go ahead’ due to the impracticalities of re-homing those affected during the demolition and redevelopment works.

Gavin Ball from the Council’s Planning Department told a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec that ‘a deliberately large zone’ was chosen ‘for maximum flexibility’. It included ‘additional powers’ to achieve redevelopment. He said there would be ‘no net loss of open space, but that could include a realignment or a land swap.’ [He didn’t say where]. Most of the land in the zone is owned by the Council, but additional powers ‘could include increased powers of compulsory purchase of private land’ such as the homes on Lordship Lane. When challenged about the proposed re-designation of the 3 low-rise estates in the northern part of the zone as ‘suitable for tall buildings’, he said that this is because ‘they are close to transport routes’. We note, however, that this directly contradicts policies which protect the existing character of each neighbourhood, in this case the low-rise nature of all the existing buildings on and around those 3 estates.

The proposals have also been approved for consultation by the Council’s ruling Cabinet.
Lordship Rec
The sudden threat to Lordship Rec would bring the Council into direct conflict with the Lordship Rec park users’ organisations, and all the funding bodies (Lottery, GLA and the Environment Agency) who have supported the successful and nationally-celebrated community-led regeneration of Tottenham’s largest public park.

The whole park is protected in the following important ways:

  • as Metropolitan Open Land (equivalent to Green Belt)
  • in the written contract with the Heritage Lottery Fund, in which the Council is legally obliged to protect and maintain all the facilities for 25 years, ie until 2037
  • the park is safeguarded and protected for all time by a ‘Fields In Trust’ covenant since 2012, preventing any part of it being developed or sold off. The park was runner-up in national Fields In Trust awards for ‘most improved park’.
  • The 2015-2025 Lordship Rec Management Plan, adopted by the Council in February 2015, commits the Council to ‘working in partnership to ensure that the Lordship Rec users groups, the park users and local community generally are fully involved at every level and in all aspects of the future management of the park.’

Some key Council policies protecting open space
Page 45 of the Local Plan’s Development Management DPD states:

  1. The Council will not grant planning permission for proposals for
    development that would result in the loss of open  space, unless an
    assessment has been undertaken which shows that the open space is
    surplus to all the functions that an open space can perform.B.  The Council will require all residential development proposals in Areas of
    Open Space  Deficiency (see  map 4.1), and in wards which fall below the
    Borough-wide target of open space of 1.64 ha per 1,000 population (see
    map 4.2) to provide new open space and/or make financial contributions to
    enable the provision of new open spaces or improvements to the
    accessibility  and quality of existing open space.

[Map 4.2 shows that Lordship Rec is in a ward falling below the Borough-wide target of open space of 1.64ha per 1,000 population.]

C.  The Council will only grant planning permission for small-scale structures
on Public Open Space (Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, Significant
Local Open Land or Lee Valley Regional Park as shown on the Proposals
Map) where the development is directly related and ancillary to any
recreational use of the land and the predominant open character of the
open space is maintained.

Some key Council policies regarding its suburban character and ‘tall buildings’.

Local Plan (2013), SP11: All development shall be of design that respects its local context and character and historic significance, to contribute to the creation and enhancement of Haringey’s sense of place and identity.

6.1.15 Haringey is characterised by predominately low-rise (2-3 storeys) residential suburban development across the borough and 3-4 storey development in its town centres.

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Outrage over controversial ‘redevelopment’ threats to Haringey’s Council Housing estates        

Research by members of Haringey Defend Council Housing campaign

Throughout Haringey, residents of Council estates are concerned, confused, shocked, angry and outraged at highly controversial Council threats to ‘redevelop’ their estates to bring in private housing. Whilst Council officers and cabinet members fly in March to Cannes in the South of France for a global property developers’ convention [MIPIM], the Haringey Defend Council Housing campaign is encouraging residents of these estates to speak out against these threats, and to organise to defend their communities.

Estates under threat
The overall ‘regeneration’ plans are the proposed amendments to the 2013 Strategic Policies Local Plan (‘Alterations to Strategic Policies 2011-2026′): http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/Published/C00000118/M00006976/AI00040449/AppendixAAlterationstoStrategicPolicies.pdf

The list of estates on their initial ‘regeneration list’ is in the ‘Alterations to Strategic Policies’ (Alt 53, page 22). Other blocks and estates not on this list such as Imperial Wharf are also facing demolition.

Broadwater Farm   *   Northumberland Park   *   Love Lane   *   Tamar Way and Reynardson
Helston Court/Culvert Road   *   Turner Avenue   *   Leabank View/Lemsford Close   *
Park Grove and Durnsford Road   *   Tunnel Gardens includes Blake Road   *   Noel Park

The document is clear about the council’s conception of Estate Regeneration:   ‘…reprovision of low quality existing council housing with an equal quantum (on a habitable rooms basis) of higher quality modern social housing is not a financially viable option.’ (Alt 64, page 26-27). In reality it is about promoting private property development and unaffordable housing, and selling public land to generate income for the Council.

What would this mean for estate residents – if not stopped?
Many estates are included on Haringey’s Site Allocations list. Inclusion on this list legally enables developers to put forward plans to build new housing or other buildings on the site.  So when the Council says that ‘there are no plans for new development’ this is literally true, as the Site Allocations list only came out recently.  Inclusion on the list is, however, the necessary stage before development plans are made. Plans for each estate could cover some or all of the current housing, and parcels of land could be sold off.

This means that, if this was allowed to go ahead, there will be fewer Council housing homes – the only homes that are genuinely affordable and secure. Social housing is almost always thesedays built by Housing Associations and is likely to have only 5-year tenancies and significantly higher rents. Private housing is likely to be totally unaffordable for local people in need.

The council have an obligation to re-house secure council tenants when their homes are knocked down. Leaseholders would be bought out, but would be likely to be unable to afford anywhere local (probably not even in London) to move to. Private tenants on the estates would be made homeless. Where would the secure tenants go?  Haringey is threatening to demolish so many estates. Will there be pressure on the secure tenants to accept housing association properties with higher rents and poorer tenancy rights, even 5 year tenancies?  (Legally speaking, re-housed tenants could turn down 5 year tenancies but they may not know this.)

In any case this arrogant and totally unnecessary attack on our communities would cause massive stress to all concerned, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build strong communities and improve local facilities.

Object now     The council are open about their so-called regeneration strategy: increase their income from business rates to compensate for cuts in funding from central government. This means attracting those with disposable income into the borough. Encouraging business investment into the area is contingent on altering the demographics of Haringey bring in the rich, drive out the poor.

This is mass disruption and displacement of our communities, and gentrification and social cleansing – we must oppose it. Deadline for objections is March 27th..  To object, email: ldf@haringey.gov.uk

The Community-Led Transformation of Lordship Rec

Lordship Rec, Tottenham’s largest public park at 26ha, is bordered by 2 large Council estates (Broadwater Farm and Tower Gardens) and streets of terraced housing of all tenures. 12 years ago, when the Friends of Lordship Rec set up, it was a poorly-maintained and virtually abandoned park with no on-site staffing, no flower beds, semi-derelict buildings, poor quality and decaying infrastructure, and few organised user groups or activities apart from a mother & toddler group running an old hut, and a local youth football club (Broadwater United) managing the enclosed sports pitch.

Inspired by the successful and comprehensive community-led improvements to Broadwater Farm throughout the 1990s, the Friends conducted an initial park users’ survey: ‘How Can Our Park Be Improved?’, and then teamed up with Broadwater United FC to launch the Lordship Rec Users Forum (LRUF). The aims of the Forum were to get all the stakeholders’ organisations (User Groups, Council, Residents Associations, Schools etc) to work together, to promote and encourage a range of new user groups, to develop a community-led vision to regenerate the site, to lobby for the resources needed to achieve that vision, and to move towards joint community/Council management of the site.

The Friends and the Users Forum have ever since continued to meet monthly and to consult the public widely to achieve the above, and indeed our achievements have multiplied beyond even our own wildest expectations!

  • The number, breadth and membership of dedicated autonomous user groups has mushroomed, and now includes the Friends, Broadwater United FC, a new Lordship Rec FC, Wildlife Group, the Parent & Toddler Group, Walking Group, Lordship Sports & Arts Consortium, Running Group, Back 2 Earth environmental charity, Trax youth cycling club, Brakethru mobility cycling club, Shell Performing Arts Collective, and a River Moselle Management Group
  • Guided by the results of public surveys and consultation efforts, and after 5 years of discussions, preparations, planning and design, and lobbying of funding bodies, the LRUF and Council succeeded in obtaining 5m, mainly from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for much-needed regeneration works. Weekly LRUF/Council coordination meetings have just overseen the completion of these works, including a brand-new flower-lined channel for the River Moselle, a new Loop bike dirt track, an Environmental Hub building with cafe and classroom, refurbishment of the Shell Theatre along with a new park staff team depot, renovation of the enclosed sports pitch, restoration of the historic and nationally-unique Model Traffic Area, new meadows, flower-beds and tree planting, and general improvements to drainage, paths and entrances
  • There are now a wide range of public activities and events in the park organised by local groups, including the regular LRUF-organised Community Festival. 2012’s ‘re-launch’ festival in September 2012 introduced the new facilities, attracting 8,000 local residents, double our previous highest turnout!
    * Building upon the growing partnerships and co-management philosophy developed in the last few years at every level of decision-making, the Friends, LRUF and Council are committed to the ongoing co-management of the park as a whole, and the micro-management of each of its facilities and features, eg Lordship Woodland and Lake / Friends; Bike track / Trax Club; Spinney / Lordship Wildlife Group; Eco-Hub / Friends & Co-op; Football Field / Broadwater United; Harmony Gardens / Back 2 Earth; Shell Theatre / Performing Arts Collective; – and other potential similar micro-partnership arrangements.
  • Inspired by the improvements achieved so far the key partners continue to meet for fortnightly Lordship Practical Coordination meetings to monitor any ongoing works, discuss and plan further improvements and the fundraising necessary to achieve them, and to encourage and coordinate a wide range of events and activities by user groups.

Lordship Rec – Past, Present and Future

A History of Tottenham’s largest park

1800s-1900s Downhills manor/estate straddles area – to become Downhills Park and Lordship Rec in the 20th century. Included Moselle River and adjacent ornamental lake (thought to be on the site of a Saxon ‘moat’). Green spaces were also known locally as ‘uplands’, ‘downhills’ and ‘mount pleasant’ at different times.
1910-20 Tower Gardens Estate built. To the south there are allotments + river + marsh + a ‘Broadwaters’ farm
1932 Lordship Rec created by Tottenham Council.
1936 10,000 local people attend Lordship Rec grand opening
1938 Model Traffic Area (MTA), unique in UK, opened.
1940 Downhills Shelter (in southern part of park) suffers wartime bomb direct hit. 40+ local people killed.
1950s – 70s Park’s heyday eg MTA, Shell theatre events, boating lake and ‘cascades’ etc
1966 Thousands attend Haringey Show in the Rec (on World Cup Final Day!)
1970s Broadwater Farm Estate built. Loss of many allotments.
1980s – 90s Cuts to maintenance and staffing cause serious decline
1980s Closure of lido by the Rec – replaced by housing. More open space lost. Broadwater United football teams save, improve and run the enclosed Sports Field. Woodland planted at the south of the park.
1985 BWF disturbances: Inquiry report calls for regeneration of estate and park. Broadwater Farm Residents Association demand improvements to the area, including park (eg. help install new BMX track).
1990s BWF Estate residents drive forward regeneration of the estate, and new Community Centre built next to park. Organise multicultural festivals in centre and park. Broadwater United football teams multiply, and continue to manage sport pitch in the Rec.
1990s Some physical improvements in the Rec (drainage, BMX track) but chronic lack of staffing and maintenance continues. Mother & Toddler Group take over disused hut as play facility (later to be co-managed with the Friends)
1998-9 Tower Gardens Residents Network launched to the north. Friends of Downhills Park launched to the south. Both groups very active and in achieving improvements.
2001 Friends of Lordship Rec launched, inspired by the neighbouring community efforts. Met monthly ever since.
2002 Resident-led Lordship Rec Users Forum set up for community/council coordination to achieve improvements – have met monthly ever since.
2000s Friends organise annual community festivals in Rec, including ‘Restore The Rec’ ones. Development of range of user groups and a vision for community-led regeneration/renewal.
2005-7 Some investment in active play areas. Friends rescue/improve woodland and lake areas. Staffing re-introduced after Friends lobbying.
2008 Back 2 Earth local charity set up to promote food growing, healthy eating and environmental sustainability in the Community Centre and in the future Rec.
2009- User groups continue to flourish eg. Harmony Gardens food growing in the grounds of the Community Centre, Trax cycling club weekly youth sessions, Walking Group weekly walks, Lordship Wildlife Group, Lordship Rec FC…
2011/12 LRUF hold weekly coordination meetings to oversee regeneration plans.
2012/3 Regeneration and renewal works implemented, including restoring and bringing Rec heritage features alive again!! (eg Shell, MTA, River, main entrance). 8,000 attend Lordship Rec ‘Re-Launch’ Community Festival in September. Park gets Fields In Trust ‘QE2′ status protection for all time, and wins runner-up award for ‘most improved’ of 1,500 such FiT spaces. Also receives London-In-Bloom Gold.
2013-forever? More improvements planned. Community/council joint management of the park and ‘micro-management’ of its specific facilities/areas…