May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Monday, June 18, 2012
A developer has been slammed for allegedly “misleading” Haringey Council over plans for a new community centre underneath a block of 64 flats in Tottenham.
Lee Valley Estates’ proposals for part of the Hale Village site on the former GLS Depot in Ferry Lane were thrown out by councillors amid claims that a church was planned rather than a community centre.
Cllr Sheila Peacock told the council’s planning committee on Monday that the Bishop of Stepney had previously told her about exciting plans for “the first new church in north London for 20 years” set to open in Tottenham Hale.
Planning officer Paul Smith said he was “shocked” at the claim and said there was no mention of church use for the proposed community centre at previous meetings.
Under the plans, the Church of England’s Diocese of London would lease the community centre for 125 years in a deal worth £25million, taking full control over the running of the centre, which would include a multi-purpose hall, cafe and nursery.
At the meeting Chris Shellard, project director at Lee Valley Estates, said the hall would be expected “to be used as a place of worship” in addition to other community uses.
The committee then refused to decide on the application, for Lee Valley Estates to clarify what the community centre would be used for.
Mr Shellard then stormed out of the meeting with his team and told the committee: “You’ve just destroyed a community centre. We won’t bring [the application] back – it’s dead.”
Cllr Stuart McNamara told the meeting: “It seems to be that what they have applied for is misleading, which is disgraceful.”
A spokesman for the Diocese of London said the Church “fully supports” the application from Lee Valley Estates.