A group of traders at Seven Sisters Market has failed in their challenge to a compulsory purchase order of the market otherwise known as the Latin Village allowing for its demolition and redevelopment.
The Tottenham Area Action Plan, adopted by Haringey Council in July 2017, set out plans to demolish the current Seven Sisters market which has long been a focal point London’s Latin American and rehouse traders in a temporary market, and construct new housing and a replacement market on the present site.
Traders had attempted to challenge the plans of Haringey Council and Grainger PLC to demolish the indoor market. Many felt that they were being ‘thrown to the wolves’ (see here) by a council who had shown insufficient regard to issues of affordability and cultural and minority rights.
Marc Willers, QC, counsel for Nicholas Amayo and Carlos Burgos, who brought the legal challenge, had told the court last week of a mistake in the planning inspector’s report, on which the secretary of state relied, which set out that the deed of variation made provision for a 2% cap on rent increases per year to apply indefinitely.
However, in a judgement delivered at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday last week a High Court judge found that the inspector’s report, when considered as a whole, must be read as ‘predicated on a correct understanding of the deed of variation’, and that it was ‘wholly implausible’ that the Inspector believed that the rent cap lasted in perpetuity.
Mr Justice Jay further added that ‘overall I have not been persuaded by Mr Willers’s argument a genuine doubt exists on the issue of affordability’, ruling that the appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision to confirm the Compulsory Purchase Order should be quashed.
Jayesh Kunwardia, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, and solicitor for the traders, told Justice Gap that ‘naturally we are very disappointed by the High Court in the judgement handed down yesterday’.
‘We need to carefully analyse the judgement but on the information available so far, it does seem to me that the decision taken by the High Court is fundamentally wrong in law and the Claimants will be applying for permission to appeal’.
Melissa Diaz, masters student, spoke of how ‘as a child of two Colombians who moved to London in their 20s, the Latin Village has been instrumental in forging my dual identity as British and Colombian’, adding ‘the authenticity of the shops, furniture and vendors made it feel like a mini Latin America and to get rid of this space…is very upsetting for the Latin community as a whole’.
The Latin Village market traders have fourteen days after the Court transcripts are made available to lodge an appeal.