Housing Zones: Tottenham

As part of our project looking at the progress of London’s Housing Zones, we’ll be posting profiles of some of the zones to show what’s being done to speed up housing deliver in the Capital and showcase some of the diverse approaches being taken in different areas. The first, on Tottenham, is below. To find out more about this project or to get involved, email alexei@futureoflondon.org.uk.

Tottenham is to the east of London Borough of Haringey and borders LB Waltham Forest. The area – defined here as the area covered by the 2015 Tottenham Area Action Plan (AAP) – includes two tube stations, five rail stations and a major bus station; the borough’s most iconic business, Tottenham Hotspur FC; and the River Lee. It is likely to be on the route for Crossrail 2, and sits within the strategic London–Stansted–Cambridge Corridor.

However, as with many areas along the Lee Valley, Tottenham has challenges related to its industrial heritage. Much of the land along the canal is industrial, and the road network caters to heavy traffic. Road and rail infrastructure create barriers to movement within the area, and isolate it from the Lee Valley Regional Park next door.

In addition to physical barriers, as the starting point of the 2011 riots, Tottenham suffered not only damage to buildings, but a longer-lasting stigma which has proven harder to heal.

Historically, the area has suffered from high unemployment, poor health, and overcrowding, amongst a host of other social problems. The 2010 Index of Multiple Deprivation shows a clear divide between the wealthier west of the borough (including Highgate and Muswell Hill) and Tottenham in the east. Tottenham has long been a priority area for LB Haringey and the GLA. After the 2011 riots, the GLA awarded the area £28m in regeneration funding, matched by £13m from Haringey and £20m from Transport for London.

Map of Index of Multiple Deprivation in Haringey

The Housing Zone funding is intended to support wider investment in the area and kick-start development activity. By providing money to carry out critical improvements to transport, accessibility and public realm, the zone will enable housing developments which depend on this infrastructure.

The Housing Zone

When Housing Zones were announced, Tottenham was labelled a front-runner and used to inform the development of the programme from an early stage. Haringey’s bid was in the first group of Housing Zones to be confirmed in February 2015.

The Tottenham Housing Zone covers the same area as the Tottenham AAP, making it one of the larger zones at 560ha. However, in its first phase, it is Tottenham Hale at the southern edge of the zone which will be the focus.

Map of Tottenham Housing Zone

Located next to the River Lee, Tottenham Hale is the industrial area of Tottenham, and contains Tottenham Hale rail and bus interchange, a retail park, and light industrial warehouses. Since 2007, work has been underway on Hale Village, a mixed-use development which includes housing, student accommodation, a health care centre, and office and commercial space. Despite Tottenham Hale’s good transport links, other developments have been slow to progress.

Haringey was allocated £44m of funding to deliver 1,956 homes in Tottenham Hale, 560 (29%) of which will be available below market rates. Funding will be used to address infrastructure requirements, acquire sites, and provide grants or loans to overcome funding gaps.

The bulk of the new homes in the first phase will come forward in the period 2015-18, although the programme runs until 2025. These homes sit within an overall AAP target of 5,000 homes in Tottenham, 50% of which will be below market rates (30% private sale, 20% private rent, 30% intermediate ownership and 20% affordable rent).

Unlike some other Housing Zones, Tottenham contains relatively little public land that is not in active use. The public sector must therefore work closely with private landowners to achieve the desired level of change.


New district town centre

In line with the trend to encourage higher-density development around transport hubs, the Tottenham AAP envisages much higher densities around Tottenham Hale interchange as well as the formation of a new district town centre. Currently, a low-density retail park sits next to the station. This will make way for higher-density mixed-use development, to include space for retail, leisure, hotels, community uses and education. Haringey is in talks to establish a joint venture to take this forward.

Private rented sector housing

Haringey is proactively promoting the private rented sector in Tottenham Hale. Census data from 2011 shows around 30% of properties in Tottenham Hale as PRS (slightly above the London average of 27%). However, existing PRS is often fragmented and poorly managed. Haringey is seeking to raise standards by attracting larger-scale, institutional PRS, which can offer greater stability to tenants. The Housing Zone is expected to have around 20% of properties as dedicated PRS.

Tottenham Infrastructure Fund

With significant levels of housing needed by 2018, a flexible approach to phasing has been developed. A Tottenham Infrastructure Fund will have delegated authority to shift funding between phases and sites, depending on how quickly each site is progressing. This will allow decisions to be made quickly, maintaining momentum and avoiding costly delays.

Green Link

The Housing Zone will provide funding for a £50m east–west Green Link to link Tottenham High Road to the Lee Valley Regional Park. New bridges and public realm will improve access to this significant amenity, providing pedestrian and cycle routes away from the busy main roads which currently dominate the area. The Green Link will be key to connecting individual developments within Tottenham Hale and providing a coherent and coordinated public realm.

Transport infrastructure

Tottenham Hale’s road-heavy layout has long been a barrier to creating an attractive place to live. In 2015, TfL converted the one-way road system to two-way operation, redesigned the bus station terminal, and added improvements to the road layout to help pedestrians and cyclists.

Tottenham Hale station is also due to receive a £20m upgrade, with improvements to capacity and accessibility. This will accompany Network Rail upgrades on the Stratford–Tottenham Hale–Angel Road line to allow four trains per hour. Improvements to the station must also take account of Crossrail 2, which is likely to pass through Tottenham Hale. On the current timetable, Crossrail 2 would be operational by 2030.

Further reading