May 25 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Just over four years ago in these very pages, the mastermind behind Tottenham’s largest regeneration project in recent history spoke of an area that was “rapidly improving”.
No-one could have predicted the drama that would unravel on the doorstep of the Hale Village development last August, when Mark Duggan’s death sparked rioting that laid waste to swathes of Tottenham and spread across the country.
But today, Lee Valley Estates’ £380million redevelopment of the former GLS depot site, off Ferry Lane by Tottenham Hale station, continues undeterred.
Taking the Journal on a tour of the site, Chris Shellard, Lee Valley Estates’ project director, says: “Since the riots we have actually spent £183million worth of investment here and I don’t know anyone else in Tottenham who could say [that].”
Such heavy investment has already brought new housing and jobs to the area.
Work began on the site in January 2008. A £50million university housing block for 700 students has been completed already, along with a £35million development of 154 flats and a new headquarters for social housing trust Newlon, finished last year.
There are about 1,200 people already living on the site, around a third of the 3,600 residents expected to be calling it home by the time it’s completed in 2016, says Mr Shellard.
Aside from the 400 construction workers employed on-site, 56 jobs will be permanently created at facilities including a gym and medical centre.
Its green credentials are not to be sniffed at either. Powering the whole development is a state-of-the-art £5million energy centre, fuelled by recycled woodchip, which cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 54 per cent.
But perhaps the strongest sign of Hale Village’s wider influence on Tottenham’s future is the construction of the area’s “first” luxury penthouses and apartments, in blocks they call “pavilions”.
With panoramic views across London, the top-floor penthouses are commanding up to £400,000 each. Nearly all the apartments and penthouses in the first pavilion have been sold, with the second pavilion set for completion next month.
“We’ve got young professionals working in the City moving in, as well as doctors,” says Mr Shellard. “I think most people are locating because they like the water and they like the transport hub.”
But it is not just high-earning professionals that Hale Village caters for; the site also incorporates hundreds of “affordable” and shared-ownership properties.
Mr Shellard says the project is reducing Haringey Council’s housing bill by £2million, explaining: “We are taking 300 families out of temporary accomodation and giving them some of the best accomodation in the borough.
“We are creating a community which is much more balanced and we are creating an environment where people want to stay so there is no transience.”
With only a fifth of its £380million budget left, there is still a formidable 25-storey residential tower to be built, and accompanying complex of cafes and restaurants.
With the one-year anniversary of the riots looming, Mr Shellard’s vision remains intact: “This is actually providing the outside world with Tottenham’s best face, which is a great transport hub and a great place to live.
“By lifting the value we make Tottenham a place where people want to invest – that what’s happened in places like Brixton and Shoreditch.”