Council to spend up to £25m on buying Wards Corner landCouncillors agree way forward for council's alternative plan for future of Seven Sisters Indoor Market
A new approach to the redevelopment of the Seven Sisters Indoor Market site has been agreed by senior Haringey councillors.
The local authority will buy up land at Wards Corner as part of a plan to provide council homes and retail space, pledging to work with residents, businesses and local partners on a new design that complements the market.
It follows the decision last year by private landlord Grainger to drop plans to demolish buildings at Wards Corner and build 196 new homes. The scheme had been opposed by many traders at the market – also known as The Latin Village – who feared it would put their livelihoods and culture at risk.
During a meeting on Tuesday, cabinet members decided to end a development agreement with Grainger and acquire its property and land interests at the site. The council will also buy up other land at Wards Corner to enable its alternative plan to move forward, although the market itself will remain under the ownership of Transport for London (TfL).
The cabinet report pledges to “deliver on the aspirations” of a “community plan” designed to restore and improve the market.
Ruth Gordon, cabinet member for housebuilding, placemaking and development, told the meeting: “The ambition we have got for this area is to be creating on that corner site […] space for workspace [and] space for retail, to give some confidence to the businesses that there is a future for them on that site, and also, in no small measure, to provide social housing council houses on that site as well.”
Councillors ruled out a short-term “comprehensive redevelopment” of the site in favour of a longer-term scheme deemed to be more financially sound. However, the report acknowledges that even this option comes with “significant medium-term risks” if improvements are slower than expected or if “a viable delivery strategy cannot be identified”.
The cabinet report earmarks a budget of £24.7million to buy up the land and develop a draft scheme, along with other minor spending on the properties over a five-year period. This will be funded by borrowing, and it could leave the council with a debt of almost £6million if the scheme falls through.
Speaking during the cabinet meeting, Peter O’Brien, the council’s assistant director of regeneration and economic development, said taking a longer-term approach could allow the council to access alternative sources of funding, such as Heritage Lottery grants.
Cabinet members also agreed to all eight recommendations made by a panel of councillors following a scrutiny review of the market’s future. These include a commitment to support a partnership board that would be set up by TfL to balance the needs of traders and the community.