Isobel Place: new affordable homes at Tottenham's iconic town hall

Ruth Bloomfield finds spectacular new affordable homes being carved out of Tottenham's most iconic building, as the town hall becomes the centre of new housing development Isobel Place
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A magnificent red-brick building with extravagant interiors featuring Moorish-style mosaics, friezes and art nouveau windows, Tottenham Town Hall, which opened in 1905, was a far cry from the drab municipal buildings created later in the century.

Tottenham town hall
The town hall, which opened in 1905, now houses an enterprise centre for local businesses

The Grade II-listed hall remained Tottenham's seat of government until it was absorbed into Haringey council, which used it as offices. Now this grand building is being reborn as the heart of a new housing development, which is due to be launched this month.

Four low-rise blocks have been built around the town hall, creating 109 homes, including 68 one- and two-bedroom flats that will be sold to first-time buyers on a shared-ownership basis. These homes at the development, named Isobel Place (, are earmarked for young people priced off the housing ladder.

A 40 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat, with a starting price of £160,000, is £64,000. Two-bedroom flats start at £197,500 — so a 40 per cent share comes in at £79,000. There will also be rental costs to factor in, starting at £220 a month for one-bedroom flats, and from £271 per month for the two-bedroom flats.

All properties will attract a service charge of around £150 per month. The rest of the homes on the site will be rented out to people on the local housing register.

Affordable housing in Tottenham
£64,000: gets you into Isobel Place with a 40 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat priced at £160,000 (
Qammer Hussain, head of home ownership at the Newlon Housing Trust, which took over the site in 2009, said that the town hall itself has been renovated and is being used to run an enterprise centre for local businesses, some of which have office space in the building.

Its opulent Moselle Room, once the main meeting chamber, with an impressive plastered ceiling, has been restored for community use and can be hired for events.

In terms of location, there are plenty of plus points about Isobel Place. The site overlooks Tottenham Green, at present a somewhat unloved open space, but one which is due to be regenerated by Haringey council and architects Adams & Sutherland in a scheme funded by Mayor Boris Johnson to the tune of £1.2 million, with landscaping and a new play space. There are several other small parks within walking distance, including Lordship Rec and the Paddock Community Nature Park, close to the River Lea. The Ferry Boat Inn, overlooking the river, is a good place for a drink.

Isobel Place is within minutes of Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, with plenty of facilities including a gym, two pools, and squash and basketball courts. The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is close by, with a good programme of entertainment and exhibitions, and the area also has plenty of neighbourhood restaurants.

The development is also within half a mile of Seven Sisters station (Zone 3), with Victoria line services to the West End and Overground trains to Liverpool Street or St Pancras in under 20 minutes.

On the downside, as a retail destination Tottenham High Road itself is pretty drab — and its unfortunate claim to fame is that it was torched and looted during the summer riots of 2011.

However, Hussein believes that the locale is on the up. "There is a lot of regeneration going on in the area," she said. "We recently sold 185 homes at Tottenham Hale and there was still demand after the last one had sold, so I think people do want to live in Tottenham, partly because of its good transport links and because it is one of the very few areas in London which is central but also affordable."

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