Haringey’s gentrification plan threatens Tottenham’s Pueblito Paisa market
THE UN is investigating the planned demolition of a prominent Latin American market in north London within the scope of the overall effect of gentrification.
The Pueblito Paisa in Tottenham, known as Latin Village, is set to be knocked down and replaced with 196 new homes — none of which would be “affordable” — and a shopping centre.
Stallholders and the local community have been lobbying against the closure of the indoor market since Haringey Council issued compulsory purchase orders last year.
Following concerns over community upheaval, a team of United Nations rights experts are investigating gentrification in the capital.
Chairman of the UN working group on business and human rights Surya Deva said the UN would submit a report following its investigation.
He said the issue of gentrification and the closure of the market has “global implications over the displacement of people from their properties and land. “No country can claim that it has a perfect human-rights record … we receive these allegations, we try our best to help.”
A change.org petition opposing the closure has been signed by more than 2,000 people. It argues that the market is “a unique treasure in a national landscape that is being homogenised by corporate interests and not local communities.” Tottenham has the country’s second-largest concentration of businesses owned by people from Latin American countries, according to the petition.
Labour-run Haringey Council has come under fire for its £2 billion Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) project, which would see council housing stock being hived off to the private sector. The plans are opposed by local Labour MPs Catherine West and David Lammy, who have called for a halt to the HDV with fears of “social cleansing” and a lack of affordable housing.
A spokesperson for the development firm, Grainger, said it was “committed to encapsulating and sustaining the culture and vibrancy of the current market in the new development.”
The company has pledged that it would provide financial assistance to relocate businesses affected by the closure. It also claimed that the development will provide investment and jobs for the area.
Haringey Council said the market would be able to continue in the new development, adding: “In July, the Planning Inspectorate conducted a three-week independent inquiry into the scheme on behalf of the government, and we are currently awaiting its decision.”