Wards Corner: another u-turn from Boris Johnson

Wards Corner in Tottenham is the site of one of those markets, deeply rooted in the local community and highly distinctive, that add so much to its surrounding area. This gem of a market, with a strong Latin American flavour, is not that well known, and as a result the plans to demolish it haven’t got as wide regional attention as they would have for its more famous cousins around London. (You can, though. watch a BBC TV report here.)

However, that may now change with a dramatic u-turn from London Mayor Boris Johnson, dropping his previous support for opponents of the controversial development plans.

He visited the site on 30 April this year, as part of his campaign for London Mayor. Touring it with members of the Wards Corner Community Coalition – a local umbrella group that wants an alternative development which doesn’t see the market being axed – he called their plans “brilliant” and said their concerns about the future of the community were “absolutely right”.

Boris Johnson himself pointed out, “Presumably the Mayor can call this in” and in addition that the Mayor has further powers to block the development given that, “It’s a TfL [Transport for London] building”.

So now that he’s Mayor and the controversial planning application has been approved by Haringey Council, what has Boris done? No more talk of calling it in; no more talk of using TfL’s ownership of a large part of the site to block the development. Instead, the Mayor of London’s team has just decided the development plans are, in the words of Deputy Mayor Ian Clement, “to be welcomed”. Instead of blocking the development, Boris Johnson and his team are giving it the green light.

A u-turn by Boris, but – far more importantly – very bad news for the local community.

Add this one then to the growing list of blunders and u-turns from Boris Johnson, including overlooking the existence of a key Olympics memo, forgetting that he spent £465,000 on consultants, both ruling out and also not ruling out North Kent as an airport location, both wanting a statue of Sir Keith Park on the fourth plinth and yet also not wanting one, and claiming he never made a promise about the London Living wage when in fact he was filmed making just such a promise.

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  • does this sort of petty tittle tattle make you Lib Dems feel better about Brian Paddick? I know, why not put up Lembit Opik next time.

  • Terry Gilbert 12th Dec '08 - 8:41pm

    Yes Lembit would make a better mayor.

    BoJo was on Wato today, and very unconvincing in his response to the questions about his interfering and not interfering with the police.

  • Andrew Williams 4th Jan '09 - 2:39am

    The current indoor market is a shit hole. Anyone who can’t see that needs their eyes testing. It caters for a minority of locals who do nothing but sell weed and crack on the site as well as use the public phone boxes outside as permanent urinals. The place stinks.

    I can’t wait the see the place pulled down and developed into something that will benefit the WHOLE community. Thanks Boris, you’ll get my continued vote!!!

  • Can’t wait for the dump of a market to be redeveloped.

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