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A MAJOR housing development plan that will lead to the “destruction of the local community” has received approval from Haringey council in north London.
The local authority’s planning committee narrowly passed the proposal for Tottenham Hale Centre by six votes to five on Monday night after hours of debate, giving permission to developer Argent Related to build six blocks of flats up to 38 storeys high.
The plan includes 131 new council homes for social rent as well as another 899 homes deemed “unaffordable,” which campaigners say could push up house prices and rents in the local area, fuelling gentrification and breaking up local communities.
As the council owns 60 per cent of the land, Defend Council Housing (DCH) campaigners are calling for at least half of the homes to be social housing.
Protesters rallied before the debate, with placards reading: “No to Argent’s unaffordable towers” and “Vote clean air 4 our children’s future.”
Paul Burnham of Haringey DCH told the Star that they were angry at the plans because they would mean the “destruction of the local community.”
He said: “They are building hugely unaffordable private housing in the middle of a working-class area, driving up house prices and rents and pushing people out of the area.
“We now have an administration which wants to build social housing. They’re proposing to have one of the blocks as 100 per cent council housing, which is great but doesn’t deal with the rest of the people being squeezed out.”
Mr Burnham described the population estimates used in the planning application as “laughable,” saying: “They used estimates saying social tenants have more children compared to market residents.
“The reason behind this is the council’s child-free development aspirations, as childless people will not be making as many demands on their services.”
Mr Burnham added that campaigners still have “a lot to argue” and they will be referring the issue to London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the hope that he will overturn the council’s approval.
“What happened on Monday shows that there wasn’t a consensus. It wasn’t agreed by everyone and we will say to the mayor to step up and resolve it,” he said.
Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy had previously lodged objections to the £500 million scheme, raising concerns the development could “further entrench social inequality” in the area.
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