With the Northumberland Development Project underway, we are continuing a weekly series that highlights details from the new stadium plans, which are freely and publicly available on the Haringey Borough Online Planning Services website. We're calling this series "NDP Dispatches." Here's the latest entry.
By definition, Spurs new stadium was going to usher in a new era for the club. The spectacle of the stadium design, the nearly doubled capacity (85% more precisely), and the increased stature of the club through promised revenue, have always been delectable notions for Tottenham supporters to envision. Yet the overwhelming excitement of the fanbase can be quite different from the sentiments that the new structure poses to local shopkeepers and residents. With change comes uncertainty, thus Spurs have spent time reassuring the Tottenham community of its positive proposals.
The areas in and around White Hart Lane aren't the most commercially exploitable. Tottenham has some of the highest unemployment rates in the UK, while gang and gun violence has been a persistent problem for the region. Which is why Spurs stressed the ideals of "urban regeneration" throughout its pitch in its application to the Haringey Council. The new stadium would not only transform the club, but the surrounding neighborhood. Some of this overhaul would be focused on what is termed the "Green Way Route".
One of the key urban design aspects that has evolved and developed since the consented scheme was granted permission has been the concept of a Green Way route linking Northumberland Park station with White Hart Lane station. The anticipated route between these two stations would pass through the NDP site, wrapping its way up onto the south podium and around the public square.
This provides a wonderful opportunity for creating a strong public realm with a sequence of key spaces that can activate and revitalise the surrounding urban area. It will be important that the public spaces along the route provide complementary - rather than competing - facilities and it is intended that the public square and adjacent facilities around the south podium of the NDP site would incorporate sports and leisure uses.
The key access points to the NDP site from the High Rod and from Worcester Avenue both have sets of external stairs and lifts that will facilitate smooth and easy access up to and over the public square being created to the south of the stadium.
The 10-minute walk to and from the Northumberland Park Station to White Hart Lane is about a half mile in length. The Green Way Route will then become a major thoroughfare of commerce, drink, and culinary options. It will also reserve some open spaces for pedestrians to relax, interact, and play in.
What is interesting from the application is that the public spaces, or, in other words, shopfronts, will not be offering competing products. It appears that the planning is such that specific shops will offer goods and services that differ from other nearby businesses. This idea seems a bit tricky. Competition, says Adam Smith (the economist, not the former Tottenham youth player), will lead to higher quality products that, in turn, will come at a lower expense to the consumer. This plan seems to contradict the basic tenets laid out by that famous Scotsman in his seminal treatise "The Wealth of Nations". On the other hand (and significantly less tongue & cheek here), Tottenham is an incredibly diverse, multiethnic part of London. If done right, the amount of awesome food options could be both eclectic and formidable.
What is for sure is that the Green Way Route will create a row of commerce that promises to be an upgrade to the existing neighborhood. In addition to home matches, the area should see a massive revitalization and an uptick in commercial traffic throughout the calendar year. Whether one is into football or not, this is a positive progression for Tottenham.