A row has broken out over Haringey council’s decision to award a chicken restaurant £300,000 in grants and loans – and allow a listed building in Tottenham to be used for the premises.

The authority’s planning committee gave permission on Thursday, July 23 to convert the Grade II listed Tottenham Old Fire Station into a ‘healthy’ project called Chicken Town.

Chicken Town has also been awarded a grant for £90,000, together with a £210,000 loan from the Opportunity Investment Fund, jointly funded by the council and the Greater London Authority.

Haringey Liberal Democrats have criticised the terms of the loan, which includes the condition that £50,000 net profit should be made before any of the £210,000 loan is repaid.

Councillor Bob Hare, Lib Dem regeneration spokesman, said: “Labour should be using this money to help change Tottenham and provide a better future for residents. Another chicken outlet – even a healthier one– is not a game changer. Don’t forget the excellent and well-equipped training kitchens that were part of the sixth-form centre in Tottenham that were forced to close through lack of take-up.

“And why should one chicken outlet be the beneficiary of such public funding? The end result is unlikely to survive for long. We are also concerned that that this loan may not get repaid at all if the project is not profitable.

“This hollow project doesn’t stack up and exemplifies the poor judgement and misplaced priorities of the Labour-run council. Tottenham needs meaningful change. Sadly, this attempt is anything but meaningful and could see public money lost as well.”

But Labour councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for economic development, social inclusion and sustainability, hit back and said it would create jobs and restore the building’s features.

He said: “Our pioneering Opportunity Investment Fund is providing the vital loans and support that will continue Tottenham’s proud history of entrepreneurship and make it an even more fantastic place to expand or set up a business.

“Chicken Town is committed to creating 40 local jobs in the next three years, offering discounted meals to young people as a healthier alternative to fat-filled fast food and providing trainees with workshops and placements with some of London’s top head chefs.

“The restaurant will also restore the original features of this beautiful listed building, improving and protecting the heritage of the area. Loan repayments will be reinvested into further regeneration projects in Tottenham, meaning more residents will benefit from Chicken Town’s success.”

Cllr Goldberg added: “Business plans have been subjected to rigorous scrutiny as part of the application process, and we’re delighted that our not-for-profit pilot projects are creating new workspace and unlocking the new jobs, training and career opportunities that are crucial to helping our talented young people achieve their potential.”