Statement about Haringey Council’s 6 July announcement about Wards Corner

The West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust welcomes Haringey Council’s decision to terminate its Development Agreement with Grainger for the Wards Corner site. Grainger’s plans would have demolished historic buildings and the unique Seven Sisters Indoor Market (Latin Village) and displaced existing residents and businesses. Market traders, local residents and local businesses’ 20 year campaign for an alternative Community Plan received national recognition earlier this year, winning SMK’s ‘Best Community Campaign’ award.

Javiera Huxley, Co-Chair of Save Latin Village and Wards Corner CIC, said:

We welcome Haringey Council’s decision to terminate their development agreement with Grainger. After nearly two decades of struggle, market traders, local residents and local businesses are finally beginning to have their voices heard. Save Latin Village and Wards Corner CIC will continue to work together with other local groups to ensure market traders, local residents and local businesses play a central role in the future development of Wards Corner. 

The Trust welcomes the Council’s decision to progress an alternative council-led approach to the Wards Corner site, working in partnership with local residents, businesses and community groups. We welcome in particular the commitment to a slower and nuanced approach to enable collaboration and co-design with the community. We are also pleased to see a strong emphasis on delivering council housing. The Community Plan for the Market and historic Wards buildings – originally an initiative of the market traders, subsequently developing through several iterations through a broad community engagement process – has always envisaged sensitive council housing development on the wider Wards Corner site. As the project develops, we hope the Council will make an early commitment to existing residents and businesses that they will be able to remain on site.

Carlos Burgos, Chair of the West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust, said:

The failed Grainger scheme leaves in its wake a significantly degraded local environment and a severe lack of basic community facilities, causing distress and frustration to local residents, traders and businesses. Yet despite the damage of the Grainger years, Wards Corner and the wider West Green Road/Seven Sisters town centre remains a lively hub of local economic and community activity. The Trust is ready to work collaboratively with the Council and the wider community to ensure the future development of this special part of Tottenham is led by and benefits local residents, local businesses and the communities they serve. 

It is important to highlight that the Council’s decision does not include Seven Sisters Indoor Market (Latin Village). The Market, together with the historic Wards buildings within which it is housed, are owned by Transport for London (TfL). TfL has committed to a community-led asset, and will be inviting bids for a long lease of the Wards buildings from groups linked to market traders later this year. Over the last year, the Trust has been facilitating the development of a new Community Benefit Society to secure the lease and deliver the Community Plan, restoring and managing the Wards buildings for the benefit of the community. Support via the Mayor of London/CoopsUK Boosting Community Business programme has enabled traders, residents and businesses to shape the governing rules of the new organisation, which will launch publically shortly.

Nicholas Amayo, Founding Member of the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society and Deputy Chair of the Seven Sisters Market Tenants Association, said:

The Wards Corner Community Benefit Society welcomes the Council’s ongoing support for the Community Plan. Market traders, local residents and businesses are preparing to make a successful bid for the long lease of the historic Wards buildings from Transport for London later this year. We look forward to working in partnership with the Council and TfL to ensure a successful outcome for the Market, Wards Corner and the local community.

Background

The West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust exists to facilitate, promote and support community- and business-led projects which directly benefit people who live and work in the West Green Road/Seven Sisters town centre, or who use its economic, social and cultural facilities. While the Grainger plan was in place, the Trust served as guardian of the Community Plan to restore and bring back into full use the historic locally-listed Wards buildings, including a new Seven Sisters Indoor Market. The Market – often known as the Latin Village or Pueblito Paisa  – is an Asset of Community Value recognised by the United Nations as a cultural hub for London’s Latin American community. Since 2021, the Trust has been facilitating the development of the new Wards Corner Community Benefit Society (Registration Number 8872 on the Mutuals Public Register of the Financial Conduct Authority) to deliver the Community Plan, with the support of the Mayor of London/CoopsUK Boosting Community Business programme. In parallel, the Trust is working to advance other projects with local partners to deliver services that meet community needs and deliver opportunities, in particular while the Market remains closed. Originally registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in 2008, the Trust is now working to register and develop as a charity in order to advance its public benefit objectives effectively.

Further information on the Community Plan and the campaign can be found here and here

For further information on Haringey Council’s announcement, see press release, Cabinet report and local coverage in Haringey Community Press and Enfield Independent.

The Wards Corner Community Plan wins national award

Tonight the Wards Corner Community Plan won Best Community Campaign at the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards.

This award recognises 20 years of work by countless community members and organisations, beginning in 2003 when the Wards Corner buildings and Seven Sisters Indoor market were listed for redevelopment. We want to thank every single person who has been involved and contributed to this victory. The importance of no single contribution can be understated.

One of the judges of tonight’s awards, judge Gareth Clayton said: “This campaign was very local and very effective. But fighting against issues of gentrification, loss of heritage, and more gives this campaign national significance too.”

This award comes at a critical time for us, as we prepare to bid for a lease on the site for TfL. We hope that this recognition and platform will help boost our efforts to make the Community Plan a reality. Together, we want to show that another city is possible. 

The Wards Corner Community Benefit Society is the vehicle through which we will achieve this. It will be the organisation that will restore and manage the Wards building, on a democratic, one member, one vote basis. Through this, the community will have collective control and stewardship of this vital community asset. The Wards Corner CBS is in the final stages of registration, and we will be sharing information on how to register as a supporter as soon as this is complete. 

If you would like to support the community’s work as we move towards delivering the Plan, please consider making a donation. Donations of all sizes are pivotal in allowing us to deliver on our ambitions as we face this final challenge. 

Join us for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation National Campaigner Awards!

We’re thrilled to announce that the Wards Corner Community Plan for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s Best Community Campaign of the year award! 

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) National Campaigner Awards are a celebration of the best campaigns and campaigners from across the UK. We’re thrilled to be shortlisted for this award, which nudges our 20-year campaign to restore the Wards Corner building and Seven Sisters Indoor Market closer to victory. 

Anyone can join us at this year’s virtual Awards ceremony, live streamed for the first time from the newsroom of media partner Tortoise on Thursday 19 May from 4pm to 5.15pm. More details can be found here.

This recognition comes at a critical time for us, as we prepare to bid for a lease on the site for TfL. We invite everyone to get involved, and welcome offers of support in delivering this exciting and long awaited grassroots project. If you would like to support the community’s work as we move towards delivering the plan, please consider making a donation.

SMK’s interest is in finding those who have made change happen – most effectively, creatively and courageously. Find out what fantastic campaigners and campaigns have been shortlisted alongside us this year on their website.

We hope that you can join us!