Save Our Park
Local People say
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why Plea to Council
Down Lane Park needs vastly improved facilities for children and young people.

Such improvements including a new children's playground and enhanced youth facilities were promised in the consultation document 2006 summaryTottenham Hale Masterplan(1.45MB).

Haringey Council should fulfil its commitment for these services which are vital to local people

summery2 Why Down Lane Park should have better facilities
Summary of the case for improving Down Lane Park and not building on it:

Down Lane Park facilities need expanding/ improving/ renewing to cater for local children needs  which are extremely high. 
Very high no of children and young people in built up area,
Compounded by pockets of severe deprivation
(See detail Points 1, 2, 3 below).

Housing development will add to the number of children needing park : Numbers will be higher still when new population added.
(Detail Point 3 below).

Present park facilities are neglected , unrepaired and inadequate
(Detail Point 4 )

Haringey in 2006 committed itself  "to enhance the park and improve the southern section , which could include a new children's play area and new youth facilities". but has not yet carried it out.
(Detail Points 5, 6, 7)

S106 (planning gain) money (£1.5 million) can be allocated to the park at no cost to Haringey finances and work can begin immediately.

(Detail Point 8)

Details and Evidence:

Preface:“Tottenham Hale benefits from a  diverse, vibrant and entrepreneurial local community that live around the area. This population is characterised by a high proportion of young people and high levels of unemployment and deprivation.” Tottenham Hale Masterplan 2006 (THMP)

1. High demand from high no of children in area
There are very high numbers of young children in Tottenham Hale
– the Haringey Childcare Sufficiency Assessment sets out the GLA data for
2007 and future projections.
Children and families in Haringey (PDF)
According to this data Tottenham Hale has:
  • The second highest under 16 population in Haringey - 25.9%
  • The second highest under 19 (3614)  ,
  • the second highest number of children ages 5-9.
  • The third highest number of 0s-4s Tottenham Hale 1,052

2001 Gensus Data: Ward Profile "Tottenham Hale" (PDF)

Population : very mixed housing 12,000 units, 5251 flats, 51% live in
1177 Council units

High no of toddlers and young children who need large children’s facilities, High number of youth who need good quality play areas, sports areas, youth areas and  sports development staff to involve and engage young people in sports.

2. High demand from difficult circumstances:
‘Poverty in London’ states that Haringey emerges as the most deeply divided of the 32 boroughs (for example, as measured by the high number of both rich wards and poor wards within its boundary).

Tottenham Hale falls within the 10% most deprived wards in England (2007 Index of Multiple Deprivation). Parts of the Ward to the west and north of the park have deprivation which is amongst the worst 5% in the all of the UK

Indices of Deprivation 2007, Rank of IMD, Haringey SOAs (PDF 323KB)

Tottenham Hale has:
  • the highest percentage of single parent families of any ward
  • highest number of properties used for temporary
    accommodation – 355.
  • Has relatively low car ownership.50 % of families are without
    cars so they cannot drive to parks with good facilities.
  • 51% of population live in flats
3. Higher demand again from expanded population
Haringey’s Tottenham Hale (2006) building target is for 2500 housing units. This is estimated to be about 10,000 new people in the area perhaps 1500 children.

The first phase ,the GLS site, started in 2006.This major scheme will eventually comprise over 1,000 new homes plus a hotel, student accommodation, offices, retail space, a primary school and health centre. It  will be almost self sufficient for children, having a generous central public park with a children’s playground, crèche and school at its heart. However residents there will  still need Down Lane Park for youth facilities.

The second phase , even the original 2006 version, envisage around 1600 housing units much of which will be family housing and will be all near to Down Lane Park.
4. Down Lane Park
Down Lane Park is the only full park in Tottenham Hale and also the only one east of the high road from the top of Northumberland park to the bottom of Tottenham Hale and up to Tottenham Green. Down Lane Park’s children’s playarea has limited and old play equipment. It has two sets of swings and two sets of slides and a pagoda frame and two sets of makeout huts. Parent of toddler says “the swings are mostly chewed by dogs and often hanging so wonkily you can't use them”. See photos on Play Area page. The playground is used by a mix of toddlers, older children, teenagers making out, speeding bikes and dogs. Toddlers are often scared by older children.. This is the only facility for an area with a high number of children.
Sports /youth facilities consist of two tennis courts and one basketball court. They are underused, old and needing repair. Giving the numbers of young people in the ward and high unemployment which is going to get higher the need is for this equipment to be renovated. Above all sports development staff are needed to engage and involve young people.
5. Tottenham Hale Masterplan (THMP)  2006 commitment.
Tottenham Hale Masterplan (2006) envisaged an “enhanced Down Lane Recreation Ground” a number of times throughout  the document. It talked specifically about “improving the southern section”and said “facilities at the improved recreation ground could include new youth facilities and a new children's playground”.

The Government  created two funds to support the delivery of infrastructure in local areas where housing development takes place;
  1) Growth Area Fund: Money allocated for improvements to infrastructure supplied by the Government year on year alongside housing developments.
  2) S106 Money  legislated for the developer to contract to pay to the council for improving/expanding local resources(schools, health, parks, etc) to meet increased need and so as not to disadvantage existing residents. In the case of Tottenham Hale Masterplan, Lea Valley Estates agreed to pay £10 million for a range of improvements around the GLS site . That includes £1.75million for educational improvements, £5million for improved social facilities and environmental improvements, and £1.77million for transport improvements around the GLS site and the Tottenham Hale interchange.
6. Haringey neglected to provide improvements despite promises and
great opportunities.
GAF : Haringey neglected to apply for GAF funding for Down Lane Park in
2007 when it was almost definite it would get it. Down Lane Park is at the very heart of the master plan area.  Haringey applied for Down Lane Park to GAF
the following year. This time Haringey only got a small fraction of what it asked for. It was up to Haringey to choose which projects and Down Lane Park was
way down the list.

In May 2009 two months before the Cabinet approved the principle of building on the park it passed a resolution allocating £65,000 of GAF money towards designing a new children’s playground.

S106.: The developer has contracted to pay Haringey £5million for environment improvements. Nothing has been allocated of this money for Down Lane Park though it is very relevant to the terms of the contract. Meanwhile Haringey Council has not collected £2million of the £5 million owed, since April 2008 ( £1million) and April 2009 (another £1million).

Again two months before the July approval of building on the park it was also suggested to us by officers that £296,000 for building the playground might be forthcoming from the S106 money. Also a few days after the cabinet decision about building on the park an officer suggested the £1.5 million of the S106 money owed could be allocated to Down Lane Park if the Cabinet so willed.
7.Other sources of funding:

Other sources of funding:
There has been a boom in the improvements of parks across the country in the last 5 years.  The Lottery Fund did a survey of parks across the country and describes how it happened (Publications And Infomation "Public Parks" )
More recently, a number of initiatives have been put in place by government to help enhance urban green space. These policies, together with significant investment from the National Lottery, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, have helped reverse the fortunes of many of our public parks".  Other sources of funding has come from national sports and play funds.

Local government have chosen the parks for improvement and sometimes added their own money. Haringey has done well out of these funds. It has obtained from them some wonderful improvements in many of its parks. However Haringey has never applied to any of these funds for Down Lane Park despite the needs of the area and its 2006 commitment.

The Lottery Fund survey report concluded that “there is evidence that
good parks are getting better while poor parks are getting worse” and “Parks that are provided in the most deprived areas are generally in poorer condition and their decline is continuing;”

8.S106 money still available

Officers have said to us that

"The Hale Village s106 includes provision for various payments including £5m. to be paid by the developers Lea Valley Estates in instalments for community and environmental improvements in the Tottenham Hale area.”

“As regards the payment of that money by Lee Valley Estates, two of the 5 x £1m. payments are overdue, the other 3 payments have not yet been ‘triggered’ by sufficient dwelling completions. The Council is negotiating with Lee Valley Estates on when these payments will be made but I suspect it may be some months before there is a firm outcome to these negotiations”.

“If any of this s106 money (when it is received) is allocated by the Council’s Cabinet to the Park then I can see no reason why it should not be used for any improvements in the Park or community buildings/facilities in the Park as deemed appropriate”.

We say:

Haringey Council could grant the £1.5 million from its own funds for the park and reclaim the money from Lea Valley Estates in its own time, charging interest for the loan given.

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hh Proposal to Haringey Council

Resolution for Haringey Council:

We insist that Haringey’s Cabinet readopt the principle that park land is sacrosanct and that no part of Down Lane Park be taken for development ever. Instead Haringey should fulfill the commitment in the original 2006 Tottenham Hale Masterplan to enhance the park and improve the southern section of the park which includes the children's play area and youth facilities"

We call upon Haringey’s cabinet to fulfil this commitment to improve the southern section of Down lane Park:

One way to do this is suggested here:

  • Insist on the payment of the £2 million owed by the developers.
  • If it is not forthcoming right away use Haringey finances to supply the £2 million and get it back with interest from Lea Valley Estates later on.
  • Allocate  £1.5 million of it immediately to the enhancement of Down Lane Park, £300,000 for a new children's playground and the rest on creating new /renovated youth facilities.

Down Lane Park needs vastly improved facilities overall and especially for children and young people

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