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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Cash strapped Haringey Council's agreement last month to sell its 1.3 hectare share of the Hornsey Depot site to Sainsbury's is threatening to turn into a bitter struggle.

Residents fear that the 40,000 sq ft Sainsbury's superstore and up to 230 new homes on the former Hornsey Depot site, off High Street, Hornsey, will worsen traffic congestion.

Local groups including Hornsey Information and Planning Exchange (HIPE), New River Village Residents' Association and MORRSH Neighbourhood Watch are expressing their concern.

Some local residents are wondering if the development is motivated by Sainsbury's desire to protect their Harringay store. The thinking being that Sainsbury's don't necessarily want to build on the site, but they don't want anyone else to have it because it will take business from Harringay.

Local traders appear to be lining up alongside the Council, in the belief that the development could boost business along Hornsey High Street by enticing more motorists to stop and shop.

The Council has committed to consulting residents and businesses before any formal planning application is submitted, and study the potential impact on traffic flow.

We should make sure that Harringay residents are included in the consultation given the potential impact on our area through traffic growth. To this end I have today written to our councillors to ensure our involvement.

Tags for Forum Posts: Sainsbury's, hornsey depot-sainsbury's

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This is a huge development which will undoubtedly affect Harringay residents - it is absolutely essential that we are part of the consultation process and I will be writing to Haringey Council to that effect.

Cllr Karen Alexander
Noop. Got nothing to do with me Karen.

But thank you for your response to my request. Appreciated.

I feel the same as I did when this same project went to public consultation (I attended presentation by the contractor at Campsbourne Baptist church) - I object. There is no way Hornsey High St will cope with the extra traffic (which is why the council did its best to limit car ownership for the New River estate). add to the constant comings and goings to the supermarket the residents cars and it will be log jammed 24/7. Sainsbury’s will spell the death knell for our (Hornsey residents who use the High St) local shops and impact badly on Crouch End as well. Also the council never kept its promises to provide facilities on New River estate (GP practice, school etc). This will cause local GP surgeries and school into meltdown. That's IF the council enforce building of social housing - which I doubt. the last time this was up for consultation most objected (residents, shopkeepers etc). I cannot see this being any different. I hope local can overcome their usual apathy and attend meetings and respond to consultation. and involve MP and councillors.
The problem I guess is the desire to build large scale projects in already densely populated areas. Hornsey High St is one of the nicest places locally to have a stroll around without being run over by another shopper intent on bagging a bargain. Compare this to Wood Green where walking on the pavement is a complete nightmare. You are right, if this is to be stopped the local people need to speak up.

There's also an article here which might interest everyone :-

Green N8 has been adding the following to a few of the local residents' associations Yahoo groups:

Hi everyone,

We Stopped Haringey selling off Ally Pally for peanuts... We just seen Haringey giving themselves planning permission to re-develop the Hornsey Town Hall into 130 or so flats, (out of which ONLY 4 flats are earmarked as affordable housing). A planning application paid for by you an me to the tune of round about a million pound some allege... Why? To make it an attractive proposition for a future developer, we have been told... And here we are again – Haringey are selling off to a developer ‘Sainsbury’ this time, another piece of our public pie –it’s share of the ‘Hornsey Works site’. Despite of all the issues raised in the Hornsey Journal item, it failed to touch on the real issues (in my humble view) Yes there is going to be a traffic impact, or to be more precise a parking issue - NOT BY SAINSBURY though, they will provide a car park, (more on that in my account below) but by the large number of flats planned for this development, adding to and mirroring the parking misery experienced by residents living in the new river village. I was amazed how we are encouraged by the talking heads in this article (HJ) to get preoccupied with issues, which we will have no way to impact upon. Is our attention being deliberately diverted (excuse the pan, which is totally intended) onto traffic issues, making sure the real issues are totally forgotten?
The fact that Haringey are selling off yet another public asset... Under what conditions? For how much? Is that the best deal for you and me? How many flats could be be built? and what proportion of it is going to be affordable or social housing, if any? Is that development going to be conditioned as CAR FREE DEVELOPMENT, or used to further plans to carpet the whole of Haringey with the lucrative cash caw also know as CPZ, or both?

All those issues are mute...

A local newspaper says:

"Residents fear erecting a 40,000 sq ft Sainsbury's superstore and up to 230 new homes on the former Hornsey Depot site, off High Street, Hornsey, will worsen traffic congestion."

I seem to recall the original plan was for 10,000 sq ft Supermarket, with 190 parking places and 600 flats, 300 of which to built for Haringey, I assume that was meant to be the much needed social housing...

I wonder what happens to the original plan? Or is it still on the cards, but someone is hoping we have short memory or maybe that '230 new homes' is far more palatable, compared with the real and final plan for 600 units? Or maybe Sainsbury drove a hard bargain and got permission to build 40,000 sq ft store leaving less space for housing on the site? Out of the 230 units mentioned, are any going to be affordable, or social housing? If so how many?

Then to finish off we have:

"Councillor Joe Goldberg, Labour cabinet member for finance and sustainability, said: "In these difficult times for the market, I am excited that these plans are coming forward to bring much-needed regeneration to this particular part of Hornsey, providing both jobs and affordable housing."

Difficult time indeed... Resulting no doubt amongst other things, by the ill advised investment of nearly 40 million of our council tax £££ in ICE, which has melted away... Any news on that?

I heard through the vines that despite a clear Gov directive not to invest more then 20 mil in one place, Haringey put it all on ICE, they will say they have divided it into 2 lots am put it in 2 different banks, but as it turns out one was actually a subsidiary of the other...

To be fair to Councillor Goldberg this was not his doing, but his predecessor... However either way should selling off another public asset to private hands be the remedy? And at which cost, is what I would like to know.


Few years ago I was invited to a private meeting held in crouch end, the meeting was organised by Crouch End traders to discuss the possible ways of which this development could be opposed, if at all?

In the meeting were present 2 prominent traders from Crouch End, A local councillor and myself.

It became very apparent very quickly that the deal was already done! That a plan was approved, was appealed by HIPE and was lost. And that this development was to go ahead no matter what opposition could be mastered.

The meeting, as one can imagine, was concentrated on maintaining and protecting the commercial interest of the crouch end traders who feared a large Sainsbury WITH FREE PARKING down the road is not going to be good for business.

To put this story into perspective in terms of it’s timeline and context in terms of the Hornsey Journal talking heads discussion re traffic issue, this meeting took place very shortly after Haringey have put in place the Pay and Display scheme in both Crouch End and Muswell Hill and after a huge campaign by many west of Haringey local groups to stop the spread of residential CPZ, which like it’s ‘pay and display’ sister, had no real merit apart from plugging Haringey council budgetary hole...

Any how back to the meeting... With all the information above laid bare on the table, the meeting went very quickly into a discussion of how could the Crouch End traders could mitigate the adverse effect of FREE PARKING in Hornsey in contrast with their new predicament of pay and display parking. The councillor present had a bright idea; Campaign to force Sainsbury to CHARGE FOR THE PARKING, thereby levelling the competition field...

At this point, I politely excused myself from any possible engagement with any future campaign regarding pushing this envelop and heard nothing of it since...

Now 3, 4 years down the line this comes up again... It’s funny... A week ago I had a good root around my papers a weed out / de-clutter exercise ,as one does from time to time... I came across a fancy booklet titled ‘Hornsey Works’ I was given in this meeting, where I made some notes during the meeting. I held it in my hand recalling the meeting and thinking to myself - should I keep this? should I get read of it? And then I put it on the ‘to keep’ pile! I still have it in case anyone is interested I can probably scan it.

Reading the posts on the local Yahoo group (we at HoL won't tell you who started that thread!) on the about the latest development re this site, I fished out this booklet in no time... Having looked through it again, I noticed that at the time - Haringey part owned the site with Sainsbury and were planning to develop it in partnership with other bodies and companies... One in particular leaped off the page... It is 'Inner Circle' again! This I guess, is what happens when one is paying attention over time. It is to do with another story I got involved researching about a year or 2 ago – It is another Haringey public asset, but very much the same players...

This was a story of the Welbourne Centre site in Tottenham, A community centre which was marked for rich picking (Development) Which involved some really doggy dealing of another prominent Haringey councillor who’s actions and integrity came into question too many times in the mind of some, and in particular one of his own colleagues, who started looking more closely into this questionable dealing, which was also investigated by an outer authority and was covered up big time by his party, who is still the ruling party in Haringey, and he is still an elected councillor even after it was fully exposed by another brave councillor, who got suspended from his party as a result of bringing this issue to public attention...

I know it all sounds vague, I could go and on... But I am short of time and wonder if any one is really interested...
Below are links to the detailed account of this story for those who are really interested.


If you've read so far down, you might be interested in more background info:

Plans for Hornsey Depot site back on track (Hornsey Journal)

New plans agreed for Hornsey Depot site (Haringey Council website)

With a Ladder and Some Glasses - Hornsey Thameslink Depot (London R...

Hornsey Thameslink Depot (London Reconnections Blog)

David Winskill, 50, London borough of Haringey (The Guardian)

Haringey Solidarity Regeneration Subgroup (As Title)

Signed by Ofer, Green N8

Thank you Hugh for posting it further...

Now that I read the other posts expressed here, I have one thing to add.

The promise and prospect of being consulted on a future PLANNING APPLICATION could prove meaningless...

Have we been consulted on the SALE OF THE SITE? and what KIND OF DEAL Haringey have negotiated on our behalf?

Is that another ALLY PALLY DEAL?

I suggest that is far more important issue to investigate!

Anyone fancy doing a FOI?
Where the council gives away for peanuts the land that we've paid for, they generally want to keep the financial details secret.

In the case of the botched deal over the sale of Ally Pally, I first asked for a copy of the Lease, by FoI, in early December 2006. There followed prevarication and dissembling. It took a formal Appeal to the Information Commissioner and the passing of one year for the Council to cough up and even then the Lease was redacted for all financial information (but it did reveal the casino promise and the extent of office accommodation).

The excuse the council uses is that if financial details of its property deals are released it could somehow predjudice subsequent sales (where the council is prepared to do further poor deals).

With the Hornsey site, we will probably never know the details of the deal the council did, or is attempting to do, with the private developer as the council will undoubtedly cite commercial confidentiality.

Whether the council receives one pound or £100m, there are still several other aspects of concern.

First, is this the right development for this site? It sounds to me as though it might be suitable for an out-of-town site, maybe in semi-rural Florida. But this large development is proposed in a densely built-up area that relies on a 19th century road network, that grew up like topsy for horses and carriages, rather than designed for freeways and on-ramps and off-ramps.

Second, as we've seen in other deals where the council chooses to sell off its property, there is a fundamental conflict of interest when this comes to their Planning Committee. The council takes token steps to mitigate their conflict of interest (declarations of personal interest etc.), but fundamentally they cannot alter the fact that where the council wants to sell council property, they will try to assist that process.

It seems to me that the council is not capable of assessing these kinds of planning proposals in a way that is objective.

If the council no longer wants to operate a recylcing facility on this site, why not turn the land into a green park?
Secrecy is indeed the order fo the day. If I interpret the extract form the minutes on page http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/mgChooseMDocPack.asp?ID=4400 correctly the public were excluded from any interesting chat and the exempt report contains the nitty gritty.
So i don't know where all the speculation about 40,000 sq ft and 300 homes comes from?

HORNSEY DEPOT (Report of the Director of Corporate Resources -
Agenda Item 20)

The Appendix to the interleaved report was the subject of a motion to
exclude the press and public from the meeting as it contained exempt
information relating to the business or financial affairs of any particular

We noted that the report outlined the proposed scheme for regenerating
the former Hornsey Depot site in conjunction with the adjoining land
owned by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd (“Sainsbury’s”). The report also
set out the proposed development route to delivering the regeneration
benefits for residents and the area and sought our approval to dispose of
the Council’s site by entering into a sale and purchase agreement (“Land
Agreement”) with Sainsbury’s on terms agreed with them and signed off
by the Council’s external valuers as representing best consideration.


That the Head of Corporate Property Services be authorised in
consultation with the Director of Corporate Resources and the
Cabinet Member for Finance and Sustainability to negotiate and
enter into a Land Agreement with Sainsbury’s for the disposal of
the former Hornsey Central Depot in pursuance of the Council’s
regeneration objectives and in accordance with the Heads of
Terms set out in the exempt appendix to the interleaved report.
where the 40,000 sq ft and 300 homes comes from?
This appeared in the HJ item I referred to above.

Thing is, this was not denied by the council member for resources, which could be taken as confirmation...

Despite the gate keeping mental exercise on whether or not the council will, or not share their secrets, I still think asking the right questions at this point could be useful later on, if needs be. Since comparisons been made with the Ally Pally case, it might be fitting to remember that it was the FOI done on that same issue, that formed the basis for the Judicial Review and it's outcome that stopped the deal from happening... However there are differences, an obvious one would be, the Hornsey site is not protected by it's own 'law', necessitating Haringey to consult on the decision to sell. I also assume no one in parliament would give a flying monkey if it is sold for peanuts, especially if some lord gets it...

Personally I have not formed an opinion on this, save one... when it smells like a rat and sounds like a rat it probably is a rat! So my instinct is - keep on digging for full facts... then we might be able to form an informed view.

I should also say that I shop in Sainsbury myself and probably will do so in Hornsey too.

A Sainsbury is going to be built there! regardless of any type of opposition... If I remember correctly, this has been approved a while back. The question is in the details - 10,000 or 40,000 Sq ft store. 190 or 119 parking spaces... 600 or 300 flats

As per usual the devil is in the details...
I watched the vidoe about Wood Green shopping city posted on HoL and wondered what, if any, lessons could be learnt from that? The secret, dirty deals made by teh council with commercial interests in which local tax payers lost out big time. 40 years later and nothing seems to have changed.
No lessons have been learnt. Haringey Council, dealings with property developers and tax-payer and community interest do not mix. The record of deals attempted recently include:

• Wards Corner
• Alexandra Palace
• Welbourne Centre
• Hornsey Town Hall

The council was contemplating building over one third of a public park they control (Down Lane, Tottenham) but that appears to have been abandoned – but only thanks to public resistance.
By way of a note in the margins, there's a planning application from the Council this week to themselves to extendthis permission to use the site temporarily as a recycling centre.



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