Campaigners battling to save the UK’s only Latin village will have their case to prevent its demolition heard in the High Court, Royal Courts of Justice this Tuesday.
The two-day hearing will take place on Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th October at the Royal Courts of Justice, although a decision will be reserved until a later date.
The campaigners are planning a protest outside the court from 5.30pm on Tuesday 8th.
Traders at Seven Sisters Indoor Market – also known as the Latin Village – are challenging a compulsory purchase order (CPO), which allows Britain’s biggest private residential landlord, Grainger, to pull down the market to build 196 flats and a shopping centre on the site.
Locals have been campaigning against Grainger’s project for 13 years – forming the Ward’s Corner Community Coalition, named after a department store that stood on the site – but challenging the CPO is the last chance for them to stop the market being demolished.
The campaign group Save Latin Village & Wards Corner has already had the backing of the UN who expressed concern that closure of the market would leave people of Latin American origin without their cultural hub. Experts said that the redevelopment was ‘a gentrification project [that] represents a threat to cultural life’.
The traders have instructed specialist property litigation solicitors from Hodge Jones & Allen to fight the case.
The market is home to 60 units containing independent businesses including restaurants, nail salons, bakeries and money exchanges. Pueblito Paisa – or Latin Village – employs around 160 people.
There has been an offer to move the market to a temporary new location, but traders claim rents will go up and they will be put out of business.
The Traders have launched a Crowd Justice fund to raise money for the final legal fight and are asking for people to donate.
In addition to the traders dozens of families – many of them from the BAME community – have been evicted from their affordable homes under a Compulsory Purchase Order. Despite this the planned development does not include any affordable housing.
Jayesh Kunwardia, Head of Housing and Property Law at Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “This development will decimate the Latin American community in North London, destroying its cultural hub. This gentrification has already been criticised by the UN, who recognised the cultural importance of the Latin Village, yet still the council choose to bury their heads in the sand over the impact this development will have. We have launched this challenge to try to get justice for the Latin American community and ensure that their important cultural centre survives.”
Counsel representing the Claimants are Marc Willers QC, Timothy Baldwin and Camila Zapata Besso from Garden Court Chambers.