The last building on the site of Tottenham Hotspur’s proposed new stadium has been severely damaged in a suspicious fire.
Owners of Archway Sheet Metals, in the shadow of White Hart Lane, refused to relocate to make way for the development project that would see their factory bulldozed.
The building, which stands in what could become the middle of the pitch, caught fire in the early hours of this morning.
Half of the ground floor at the whole of the first floor were alight when the London Fire Brigade was called at 5.20am and the blaze was not brought under control for almost two hours.
A spokesperson said the cause of the fire had not yet been determined but the owners of Archway Sheet Metals told ITV News that they suspected arson after receiving death threats over the business' opposition to the football club's expansion plans.Peter Josif, the director, previously said he already had planning permission to expand his business and increase the local workforce of 20.
“We’re already here. This is our home as much as Tottenham’s home,” he told the BBC.
The company lost its 10-year battle in July, when Eric Pickles granted a Compulsory Purchase Order to allow the last piece of land occupied by the metalworks to be used.
Spurs’ new 56,250-seater stadium was due to be completed for the start of the 2017 football season but the dispute delayed the development.
The club has argued it will “invest hundreds of millions of pounds into North Tottenham to create a world class regeneration with significant benefits for the local community” but opponents have criticised a cut in the provision of affordable housing on the site.
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended the blaze in Paxton Road, Tottenham, on Tuesday.
“Half of the ground floor and the whole of the first floor were alight, but the fire is now under control,” he added.
“Crews will remain at the scene this morning damping down remaining hot spots. There are no reports of any injuries.”Reuse content