Church puts faith in Tottenham for 250 years
The Diocese of London has signed Heads of Terms with developer Lee Valley Estates for a new facility for the community, including use as a church, right at the heart of the Hale Village regeneration project in Tottenham, North London.
This is the first time that the Church of England in London has entered into a long-term relationship with a developer to put urgently needed community facilities, with a place of worship, in the heart of a major regeneration area.
Planning permission was secured in July this year, with unanimous agreement from Haringey Council. The Heads of Terms formally set-out the plans for the new development, which will see the Diocese of London take out a 250 year lease.
The £14m development will be much more than an area for worship. It will be a community centre, nursery, cafe, include residential accommodation and will be able to hold both religious ceremonies like weddings and baptisms as well as community events.
The Diocese of London became involved in the project after a social audit carried out in Tottenham Hale. Head of Strategic Development for the Diocese of London, Matthew Girt explains:
"This development is part of our wider strategic approach in London. We looked across the whole city and identified Tottenham as one of a number of top priority areas. Our research found that there was a real need for a community resource in Tottenham Hale and we are extremely pleased that we have come to an agreement that will make this happen. This is a first of a number of similar projects for the Church in London. We will be at the heart of the Tottenham Hale community from the early days of construction and are committed to staying there for the very long term".
The new facility is a central part of Hale Village, a £380m development, built to "BREEAM Excellent" standard that will also provide private, shared ownership, social and student housing for a total of around 6,500 residents. The residents of Tottenham Hale will also be served by a medical centre and retail units as well as its own green energy centre generating heat and power from wood chips.
Chairman of Lee Valley Estates, Michael Polledri said:
"We are delighted to partner the London Diocese in this groundbreaking initiative, which we know will be a wonderful asset to our communities. We look forward to a long and successful life for this unique partnership."
The Diocese and Lee Valley Estates expect construction to begin within the next six months with completion predicted to take two years. But in the intervening period, the Diocese is already working to increase its presence in Tottenham and has been holding temporary pop up cafes and events since February. An interim centre has just been opened and this will be expanded in the near future as two residential units, given at no cost by Newlon Housing Trust, are re-equipped, subject to planning, to serve as a community hub.
The new Vicar will live at the development once it is constructed, but will be joining the local community long before construction is completed and will be there to serve not just the 6,500 residents of Hale Village, but also the surrounding areas and new developments planned for Tottenham.