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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Tricky dealing as Kinleigh Folkard Hayward rides roughshod over community interest

 

The claims of estate agents Kinleigh Folkard Hayward to being upstanding corporate citizens and even community champions are ringing very hollow in Harringay today.

Despite the proud boast of Kinleigh Folkard Hayward to be "bringing your city to life", the tricky dealings by the London estate agents seem to suggest that community interest and community wellbeing are of little concern to them.

Back in July this year, Salisbury boss Dave, heard rumours that the office premises next to Tesco, on the corner of St Ann's Road and Salisbury Road (originally leased for a KFH office), was to be sublet by Kinleigh Folkard Hayward to a betting shop operator.

There's strong awareness in the neighbourhood that we have about as many betting shops as any high street could bear. So I was keen to find an alternative letting solution.  I'd heard about a couple of London examples recently when the community had approached either a betting shop operator, or a landlord and persuaded them not to open a betting shop. Given the case to be made for Green Lanes having a surfeit of betting shops, I suggested to Rob Chau of Harringay Traders that an approach be made to KFH.

I felt that there must be a solution that would satisfy KFH's legitimate commercial requirements whilst also delivering on community interest.

Rob picked up the baton and passed things over to the GLA team involved on the Green Lanes regeneration project. As summer progressed and turned to Autumn, all seemed to be going well. GLA supported plans had been hatched to let the shop and use it as a community pop-up space for an interim period. 

About a week ago Rob told me that negotiations had progressed well and that the arrangements for a community pop-up shop were about to be finalised. Then out of the blue yesterday, the Haringey Council licensing team received an application for a licence to operate the premises as a betting shop. 

My first thought was that perhaps the betting shop operator had made a speculative application in the hope that they would come to terms with KFH. I haven't completely abandoned hope of this being the case. We don't know for sure that it's not. But, when I spoke to Rob Chau early this morning he told me, "It's 90% certain that KFH have decided to lease to the betting shop. You don't submit a licensing application unless you're certain you have a premises to licence". Then Councillor Nilgun Canver told me, "Kinleigh Folkard Hayward abandoned our proposals and the licensing application is being progressed".

It seems like bad news. It seems like KFH could reasonably face accusations not only of riding roughshod over community interest, but also of what might at best be described as a rather tricky approach to negotiating with a local community.

Rob Chau commented, "I'm very disappointed. No one from KFH has bothered to visit. They just don't care. This is only a commercial issue for them." 

"They've been very two-faced. They put on a community face and got involved in drawn out discussions and negotiations; with the other face, they did a deal against community interest.

I asked Dave at the Salisbury what he thought of the way KFH had conducted themselves, "I think it's disgusting. It's really disgusting. We really don't need another betting shop. I'm not happy at all"

Those of you who caught my angry tweets last night might suspect that I'm keen to see if we can get together as a community to fight this. You'd be right! I respect KFH's right to make a commercial decision, but there must be a way, where between them, the GLA, the Council and the community we can come up with a solution where we're all winners.

If KFH truly have shut the door on negotiation, then there are a range of options open for fighting this. More over the next few days.

 

 

 

Tags for Forum Posts: betting, gambling, kfh, kinleigh folkard hayward

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Thanks Hugh for bringing this to light. Can any of our journalist neighbours give this disgraceful behaviour a wider airing?

I very much hope they can be part of it Michael.

Last night I was so enraged by the way KFH appear to have behaved, that I wanted to calm down before writing the story and confined myself to a couple of Twitter snipes at them. 

They are a company who certainly ought to have regard to public opinion. They're also one with a very public face including physical shopfronts. 

A combination of community protest, media coverage and political pressure may influence something somewhere. I hope that as a community we can get together and plan targeted effective protest.

I've just had a look at the KFH website here (search for commercial properties to rent and it's on page 2) which shows the ground floor as being under offer at £70k (PA is suppose)

http://www.kfh.co.uk/search/Default.aspx?Section=Commercial&min...

Can we get David Lammy involved with this? In the interim a picket outside of their office on Green Lanes next Saturday?

Yup, it's not cheap. Also the landlord, Paul Simon Commercial, (not the local one), won't allow the premises to be used as a cafe or restaurant. Both of those issues have made finding a tenant difficult. I appreciate the issue for KFH, but this isn't the way for a responsible company to resolve those problems.

As far as a street protest is concerned, would it be more effective outside their Crouch End Office?

Whichever would the most effective, just that it's outside David Lammy's constituency so harder to get him to participate. Also, by under offer I mean in the sense that someone seems to have made an offer on it. Given the licensing application that rather narrows down the field of prospective new tenants.

TBH I am not a fan of KFH having found them pretty tricky and also inefficient to deal with when purchasing our house however, there was one incident of complete incompetence that got us riled. As we had our offer accepted and were waiting on our surveyor for his report, the (15 year old) agent dealing with us said 'I dont know why you're bothering with a survey when you already know about the subsidence'. We were dumbfounded as we had specifically asked about a suspicious looking crack only to be told it definitely wasnt subsidence as far back as our first viewing.

At this point we thought we had been totally played so I demanded to speak to the manager Barrington Smythe or whatever his name is. Turns out the teen-agent was totally confused and had mixed up the two houses he was dealing with. Just wondering if this could also be a case of poor KFH communication...maybe no one has told the betting shop man that the game is off!! Wishful thinking i expect.

I realise this is of very limited relevance to the betting shop licencing application, but cannot miss the opportunity to take a swipe at KFH: I would not be surprised at all if their seemingly good intentions do turn out to be utterly hollow.

We made the mistake of engaging them to assist us in choosing / applying for a mortgage. To cut a dull story short, they conned us out of £250 with vigorous promises of a personal mortgage assistant assigned to ensure a hassle-free application process. This was a "great deal" it seemed, since normally this would have set us back £500. This "assistant" conspicuously failed to manifest himself in any form at any stage through our property purchase, despite our repeated enquiries as to when his invaluable assistance might be bestowed upon us. So we planned simply not to pay the £250. Only some months later did we discover that KFH had craftily buried it within the process as a mortgage application cost, irretrievably swept up in the overall amount we paid, we thought, to the lender. 

The 'F' in KFH has stood for something different ever since in my mind.

I would love to have my views of them adjusted by demonstration of their commitment to community interests but won't hold my breath. 

Wondering how the residents of The Coliseum feel about this premises being used as a betting office. 

Dave is a resident of the Coliseum and from what he told me, his reaction is pretty indicative!

Soneone in the biz just tweeted this: 

"how about freeholders which are still Paul Simon homes, surely they have to assign the lease . They can choose not to"

Mileage? Any?

It's leased. The lease gives KFH to sublet. However, PS do have a longer term interest in the leasability of the shop. I'm sure they'll be keen to be active community partners as the area around their premises gets redesigned in the forthcoming work. 

I don't suppose you've heard anything about who it's under offer to at the moment Rob?

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