Progress is being made on Haringey Council’s plans to lead the redevelopment of the Wards Corner site in Seven Sisters, a panel of councillors has been told.

The council is working with Transport for London (TfL) to set up a temporary market to allow traders from Seven Sisters Indoor Market, which remains closed due to health and safety issues with the building, to return to the site.

A partnership board is now being established to help shape the future of Wards Corner, and the council is planning to consult residents and businesses in the area on its proposals to build homes and retail space.

Senior councillors agreed earlier this year to spend up to £25 million buying up land at Wards Corner after private landlord Grainger ditched plans to demolish buildings at the site and build 196 new homes. The Grainger scheme had been opposed by many traders at the market – also known as ‘Latin Village’ – who feared it would put their livelihoods and culture at risk.

The council now wants to build homes and retail space at the site, although the market building itself will remain under the ownership of TfL. After being closed in March 2020 when the UK went into its first Covid-19 lockdown, the market was not reopened because of health and safety issues with the building.

Cllr Ruth Gordon, the council’s cabinet member for housebuilding, placemaking and development, told a meeting of the housing and regeneration scrutiny panel on Thursday that TfL had told the council health and safety works were “progressing”.

She added: “They have been undertaking those works for quite some time now, and we have been a little bit concerned about the slowness of delivery on that, but we have received some confirmation today that they are getting underway. I can see for myself that there has been some progress there.”

Cllr Gordon said the council was working with TfL to provide a temporary market to allow traders to return to the site. She added that the council was also looking forward to the “imminent” appointment of the chair of a partnership board that is being set up to balance the needs of the community as the site is redeveloped.

A report presented to the scrutiny panel reveals the council plans to have bought up land currently owned by Grainger by early October. The cabinet member said the council would make sure its designs for the site are “co-produced” with local residents and businesses.

Under questioning from Labour scrutiny panel member Cllr Tammy Hymas, Cllr Gordon said the council still supported the aspirations of a “community plan” for the site.

She added: “It would be beneficial to all of us if we can get the market re-established and the traders re-established and have a Latin and multicultural market. What goes alongside it will be other businesses and council homes, destined for the first time ever for that site.”

Cllr Gordon said the council was asking to have a seat on the partnership board set up by TfL.

Responding to a question from Labour’s Cllr Charles Adje, the cabinet member said the council would be discussing its plans for the Wards Corner with businesses already on the site and in the surrounding area.

Under questioning from panel chair Cllr Matt White, Cllr Gordon said the council did not plan to work with another developer on the site. She added: “The site, as I see it, would be a mixed site of commercial and residential.”

At the moment, she said, the council was acquiring leases and “making sure we have control of the whole site” to enable the market to “come back into use”.