Health and safety repairs to the Seven Sisters indoor market, known to some as the “Latin Village”, which are essential before traders there can re-open their businesses are not expected to be complete until October, On London has learned.
The news was given to market traders in a recent letter from Transport for London, which has acquired the lease to the market following the previous market operator, Market Asset Management, declared itself insolvent, citing rent arrears, “unlawful” occupation of stalls and unsuccessful attempts to enforce electrical safety regulations in the building.
Like all other retail outlets deemed “non-essential”, the premises closed for business with the Covid-19 lockdown, but were unable to reopen on 15 June when the restriction was eased. TfL is the owner of the land, which is above Seven Sisters station, and has an arrangement to transfer its ownership to residential developer Grainger as part of the wider redevelopment of that part of Seven Sisters.
TfL said at the time that major overhauls of gas and electricity supplies were among the work that would need doing to ensure traders’ safety. It is understood that “Latin Village” traders have been benefiting from the same support TfL has given to other small businesses tenants across the city.
The future of the market and its traders, many of them women of Colombian descent, has been the focus of a long-running campaign to prevent the regeneration, which is supported by a legal agreement between Grainger and Haringey Council made in 2007 and subject to a compulsory purchase order.
Opponents of the scheme have received high-profile publicity but many of the traders, local residents and Haringey Council want it to go ahead. Grainger has guaranteed them a temporary new site in the retail part of a separate, largely residential, new building called Apex Gardens across the street on favourable terms and they will be able to return to a new permanent home on the site of the current market, which forms part of a former furniture store, when that has been redeveloped.
Construction work on Apex Gardens resumed in April, and Grainger hope the traders will be able to make a delayed temporary move across the road next spring. Grainger say they have continued to work on the design of the space with traders and have completed a consultation with them.
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