Residents threaten legal action over north London scheme

Campaigners are threatening legal action in an attempt to stymie a proposed mixed-use development on top of Seven Sisters Underground station in north London.

Wards Corner: redevelopment plans include 196 new homes
Wards Corner: redevelopment plans include 196 new homes

In June, the London Borough of Haringey gave permission for a scheme by developer Grainger to demolish and replace existing buildings at the Wards Corner site with an indoor market, restaurant, shops and 196 new homes.

Now a coalition of community activists is taking the first steps to challenge the decision on the grounds that it conflicts with the council's own planning policy and that inadequate assessments were carried out.

James Skinner from the Wards Corner Community Coalition said: "If we want to build upon our unique, independent business-led town centre here in Tottenham, we have no choice but to oppose Grainger's current proposals, whatever the financial strain, until the right plan is developed for the site."

Grainger's original proposals for the site were approved by the council in 2008. But this decision was quashed in 2010 after the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that the council has not assessed the scheme's impact on equalities in the area.

A resubmitted application was then refused by councillors, against the recommendation of planning officers, on the grounds that its design would not enhance a conservation area covering part of the site and that it would cause substantial harm to heritage assets.

However, this June, a revised application was submitted. The council then reversed its position on the demolition of a number of architecturally interesting buildings, resolving that this would not cause substantial harm.

The campaigners said that if the council refuses to reconsider its decision by 2 September it will apply to the High Court for judicial review.

A statement from Grainger said: "We are disappointed that a small group protecting their own interests is seeking to prevent investment into Seven Sisters for the benefit of the whole community. We hope that those who showed the unprecedented support for our application and others will help call an end to the actions of this vocal minority, otherwise Wards Corner could lay vacant for another 40 years."

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