Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football. Have your name in the book as an official sponsor. Updated information here
The day when Fulham tried to take over Arsenal – the full story in “Making the Arsenal”
News from Down the Lane
By Tony Attwood
If you want to know who is paying for the new Tottenham stadium near White Hart Lane, it is easy: it is Tottenham Hotspur and the London tax payer.
If you want to know what the benefit is to the local area – forget the issue of schools and social housing – that has all gone. All the talk of 100 affordable homes and £1.2million for school improvements paid for by Tottenham has vanished into thin air.
Worse, they have now signed a new planning agreement for their new stadium and will get the money the Mayor of London promised them.
Amended planning proposals for the £400m Northumberland Development Project have been approved by Haringey councillors – but not for the original deal.
The original agreement with Haringey Council in 2010 included £1.2m to increase pupil capacity in Haringey schools and those in Enfield (the borough next door which houses a lot of Tottenham fans), as well as a commitment that 50% of homes built under the scheme would be “affordable” (meaning kept within the price range of those renting property in the area, plus local essential service people such as teachers, hospital workers, social workers, police officers and the like).
Now we find these requirements have been removed from the agreement – with the remaining £15.5m infrastructure and transport improvement costs being met by the council and the Mayor of London.
So if you live in London, you are going to be paying for Tottenham’s new stadium, whether you are a supporter or not.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
Haringey Council will give (yes give) £9m on the scheme, while the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said his council will give £18m. Tottenham now have a tiny £477,000 of planning commitments to deal with.
Not surprisingly the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Daniel Levy could hardly contain his joy when he announced he was “delighted” with the result. He said he was grateful for the council’s support which must be the understatement of all time.
Here are his actual words: “We welcome the public sector coming together to further regeneration in an area with such a real need.
“We are proud of our roots in Tottenham and we are committed to seeking to deliver a world class new stadium, associated developments and the ensuing benefits of employment opportunities, economic uplift and community gains.”
The council, in changing its mind so radically about Tottenham’s need to pay for its own stadium, as Arsenal did, says the benefits of more jobs, transport, and business mean that the original commitment on housing can be dropped because if “the scheme is not viable then no new homes will be built” at all.
In one of the oddest bits of logic of all time it also says that because the new homes are to be one or two-bed flats few children would live in them, meaning the school place funding can be scrapped. But the project was always for such flats – so why did the original plan include more school places?
The new stadium will hold 56,000 people. There will be 280 new homes, a new square, a public space including a podium for community events, road improvements and some sort of unspecified development at White Hart Lane Station and Tottenham Hale Station. (The road improvement idea could mean anything – in that the road system by the ground is so awful that any change at all could be called an improvement).
There will also be a new supermarket and space for businesses although who would want to open a business there is not clear. The supermarket will begin building work in September and be built by 2014. The stadium is scheduled to be built by 2016 but the new homes will not be built until 2018.
Councillor Alan Strickland, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’ve been clear all along that Spurs’ plans and commitment to invest in north Tottenham have the potential to kick-start the wider regeneration of Tottenham. Following last summer’s riots, the need to transform Tottenham for the benefit of everyone who lives, works and studies in the area is stronger than ever.”
Meanwhile a group of parents and teachers are setting up a sport-based free school in Tottenham with the backing of the Harris Federation, which runs 13 academies in south London. Free schools are free in the sense that parents don’t have to pay for them, but are actually funded by the government – so more government spending is now likely in the area.
Of course many Tottenham fans have persistently called for government funding for their new stadium, on the grounds that “Arsenal got state money why can’t we?” In fact Arsenal got no state money for the Emirates stadium and development of the Highbury apartments – and one can only say to Tottenham supporters – if you believe Arsenal did get state money please supply some sort of evidence – just as we are supplying evidence above of Tottenham getting state money.
In fact both the Emirates, and Highbury stadium 99 years ago, were strongly opposed by the local authorities and later this week members of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association will be receiving a new book in its Arsenal History series which reveals the actions of the Highbury Defence League and how it persuaded Islington council to oppose the move to Highbury in 1913.
Meanwhile questions are still being asked about the procurement of documents during Tottenham’s failed attempt to get hold of the Olympic Stadium at Stratford – an application which led to the government withdrawing its bid process in the face of a possible EU enquiry into corrupt practices. Prosecutions may follow – four have already been arrested. If anything happens, Untold will cover it.
Funny old world down the Lane.
Latest from The corruption files…
- Untold called the Chelsea v Arsenal game right. But how did we do it?
- Chelsea v Arsenal, the Arsenal team and the prognostications
- Leno to leave Arsenal because he’s far too good: the pre-game stats
- Chelsea v Arsenal: how Arsenal have gone from top to bottom of the injury league
- Chelsea v Arsenal: there’s only three points between us.