The Wards Corner Community Coalition ("WCC") came together to block a development by Grainger plc (supported by Haringey Council and NDC). Grainger's plans would result in the eviction of many long standing business traders and residents.

The Coalition want to hold onto their market, their local businesses, their meeting spaces, the buildings they cherished and improve the area by building on the vibrant and multi-cultural character of Seven Sisters.

The process of developing an alternative plan has brought communities together and we have become inspired by the sheer skills and knowledge possessed by our local community.

The Coalition is a unique grassroots movement that has no traditional structure or recognised leaders and utilises a range of practices in mobilisation and campaigning. After a series of successful public meetings and a variety of other events, the Coalition, a ‘network of networks’, prepared an alternative plan for part of the Wards Corner site. The coalition received help from several architects in the building up of their project.


Why campaign for Wards Corner?

For a long time Tottenham has been the target of speculative development by people who have no real interest in the well-being of the area and its future. Increasingly those who have control over land use have no vested interest in the area and our public spaces - parks, streets, squares, small businesses and markets - are being sold to and for big business. There is little space in ‘their’ plans to incorporate the aspirations of people and its locality – nothing new there and this is exactly what was happening at Wards Corner, Seven Sisters.

Named 'the gateway' to Tottenham, Wards Corner, is set for 'regeneration'. Planned for the "Southern High Road" is the creation of an arts, culture & public sector ‘quarter’. We believe that there is nothing in the developer's plan that will realise that vision.

Wards Corner is a prominent site within Tottenham located above Seven Sisters tube station and despite being deliberately neglected by the Council and Transport for London, it is a fascinating place. But if developers Grainger plc and Haringey council get their way, we will be left with another bland tower of concrete and glass. That would not foster any forms of community, how could it - their plans do not allow for social housing, local independent businesses and public green open space, and does not respect the local history (despite Grainger receiving £1.5 million of public money). Grainger's plans will destroy many local businesses and leave many traders with little or no compenstation.

The WCC has brought together many different communities in the struggle to save this site and its people from the wrecker's ball. This has been acheived through holding public meetings which have seen unprecedented turnouts (over 300 people attending), passionate community engagement from a diverse range of people. 500 people turned up to "hug" the site to show support for the alternative plan. The legal costs incurred in this battle were crowd funded to £12,000 from donations that start as small as £5 with a maximum of £150 in an area considered to be greatly deprived.

The WCC is supported both locally and further afield.10 Residents Associations, the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations (HFRA), Tottenham Civic Society (TCS), Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC), Pedro Achata Trust, Pueblito Paisa , the Seven Sisters Multicultural Market Traders Association, the Tottenham Traders Association, Fair Deal, Tottenham & Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Haringey, Living Streets, Seven Sisters Permaculture. Members of The Civic Trust, The Victorian Society, English Heritage, the New Economics Foundation, the Ethical Property Foundation, Bioregional, Parity Projects and Planning Aid for London have either provided the WCC with support or are entering talks with the WCC about structures and models by which to achieve a community-led regeneration which will save heritage buildings, invest in small businesses and the sustainability of the site environmentally, socially and economically for all future generations.

Wards Corner has massive potential as a magnificent indoor market; prime visibility through glass lined frontage albeit giving onto 6 lane traffic; 8 glass atriums filter natural light down into open plan space replete with original cornicing and there are three roof terraces. Outdoors to the rear, a corridor runs the length of the block of terraced buildings and could be a pedestrian thoroughfare, populated with trees, plants, open air restaurants, cafes, market stalls catering for car-free business with facilities for cyclists.

With a little imagination, Wards Corner could be a vibrant hub of activity at a location where 10 million people utilise the Victoria Line per annum.

We represent different voices and positions underpinned by shared goals, ethics and principles
¨...even after three years with all these different qualities we still manage to meet at least once a week"
diverse, diffuse, non-hierarchical, flexible, immediate, considerate, multi-layered, inclusive, adaptable, seek-consensus, evolving, friendly, open, community, active, activists, informal, formal, self-empowered, self-empowering, empathetic, self-organising, self-educating, connected, resourceful, dreamers, rationalists, planners, organisers, artists, fundraisers, traders, bakers, cynical, autonomous, radical, conservative, transparent, cooperative, confusing, sharing, humble, arrogant, fearless, conspiratorial, fearful, enduring, non-party political, passionate, committed, self-reliant, cohesive, environmentalists......