‘Involve us in regeneration plans’ say residents of Tottenham’s Broad Water Farm Estate

The Broadwater Farm Estate. © Copyright Nigel Cox and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The Broadwater Farm Estate. Photograph: Nigel Cox (licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA 2.0)

Residents of Broadwater Farm in Tottenham who fear the council could be moving closer to demolishing their 1970s-era housing estate have met with politician and housing campaigner Sian Berry to press their case for full involvement in any plans.

Berry said they were worried about the implications of their homes being listed as a “development area”.

She added: “They have already succeeded in removing parts of Lordship Recreation Ground from the ‘red zone’ area drawn on the map, but this zone still includes their community centre and more than 1,000 homes, which now have an uncertain future.

“I will continue to call on the Mayor [Sadiq Khan] to ensure his forthcoming estates ‘good practice’ guidance promotes full and early involvement with residents, when the goals of the regeneration are still open to change.

“That would make a real difference to the lives of residents such as those at Broadwater Farm.”

Haringey Council has earmarked the housing estate for regeneration but has not spelt out what this will entail, meaning the thousands of inhabitants of Broadwater Farm are in effect in limbo.

In a letter to the council earlier this year, Chris Hutton, chairman of the local residents’ association pointed out that “huge amounts” had already been spent on providing concierge suites, new roofs and windows, as well as a community centre and other facilities.

He added: “All residents want to look to the future on our estate, rather than having our lives needlessly disrupted by demolitions and decants.”

The association says it received information from the council that redevelopment of Broadwater Farm would not lead to a net increase in the number of houses there.

At protest last year, Haringey Defend Council Housing warned the councils plans would amount to “social cleansing”.

At the time Haringey Council strongly denied this. The Town Hall has insisted local people will be involved in the plans throughout and that no one will be forced out of the borough as a result of redevelopment.

The council has also said it is committed to considering ways to improve the estate so residents can enjoy living in highest standard of housing possible.

In January David Cameron announced the government would be making available £140 million to demolish and rebuild “sink estates”. Broadwater Farm was widely rumoured to be among those in the planners’ crosshairs.

In a letter to James Murray, the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Berry called for “full transparency” about the current state of all estates in the capital as well as the basis for any regeneration plans.

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