Wards Corner market traders and businesses will be forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods to make way for a "yuppie" housing development.

Haringey Council controverisally approved plans by a narrow margin yesterday for Grainger Plc to build 200 new private homes on the Ward's Corner site in the Seven Sisters area of Tottenham.

There were allegations of racism and cries of shock from the 200-strong crowd in the gallery as plans to demolish 42 buildings on the market site were approved by a vote of 5-4.

The plans, which were first proposed in 2004, will see 197 private flats built along with “high quality national stores”. Critically there is no provision for affordable housing on the site, leading to claims residents will be segregated from the surrounding poverty of Tottenham.

Councillor Bob Hare, who opposed the plans, said: “I am concerned we are creating quite a closed community of a particular sort. It seems fundamentally wrong when good advice is that in a development we should have a mix of all sorts of people.”

To smooth the process, Haringey council has promised to provide affordable housing on the Apex House site across the road when it comes to developing it in the future.

Moaz Nanjuwany, chair of Tottenham Residents’ Association, owns one of the businesses affected. He said: “I’ve been here for nearly 30 years and up until now I was very proud of Haringey because it was prepared to welcome people from all over the world.

“Over the years the council has neglected this site and despite this the traders have survived. Surviving businesses have been here for a very long time.

“There is no provision for these small businesses to return.”

Council accused of racism

Councillors and officers were accused of racism and bias for their decision as four of the councillors supporting the proposal failed to ask a single question of expert officers during the four-hour meeting.

Wards Corner Coalition co-ordinator Candy Amsden said: "That was the most biased chairing I have ever seen in my life. Some of the councillors didn't even bother asking any questions.

"I feel so defeated by it. They don't understand they have made people homeless."

Assistant Director of Planning, Marc Darfman, led to cries of racism when he said the traders should know how to survive. He said: "The market traders that are successfully trading there have moved once already. It is not as if they don't understand how to move around London and survive."

Vice Chair of the meeting Ray Dodds, who supported Grainger, also caused outrage when he said Wards Corner “is a dump, was a dump and has been a dump for years."

Market trader Victoria Alvarez will have to leave her home and business behind for just £1,000 compensation. She said: "Most of us have come from different backgrounds here. But to say we have moved around is rubbish. We are here to work and earn a decent living. We are not planning to live on benefits.”

Director of development at Grainger, David Walters, said: “Grainger didn’t take the decision to demolish buildings lightly. We are all committed to ensuring the necessary business advice and assistance to all market traders.”

"You've ruined our lives"

Victoria Alvarez, who owns a money transfer business El Cafetal in Pueblito Paisa, will have to leave her business and home behind for just £1,000 compensation.

This is the amount Grainger developers have offered traders to move out of the market while building work, due to last three years, is completed.

For many of the Latin-American traders this will be the death of them as they will not be able to survive the move, or afford the higher rent of the new spaces when they are ready.

Ms Alvarez has 10 different families relying on her business and a personal loan of £12,000. She said: "The money they have offered in compensation will not be enough.

“What the council is doing is betraying us. It's unbelieveable. You can't imagine how sad we are.

Close to tears on Monday night, Ms Alvarez continued: "It's going to ruin our lives. These are people who are going to lose homes, businesses and families. For the past two years this has been a nightmare.

“I believe there would be more respect for animals. Instead we're being treated like products. This is the time Tottenham needs to wake up and realise what kind of people are ruling us. It is unbelievable this is happening in a civilised world.”

Grainger admitted the traders were an afterthought but insisted it was doing the best it could to protect them. Mr Walters added: “The market is a success today and during this period we have identified people within the market who are interested in the future of Seven Sisters.

“We are delighted to be able to include [the market] in the plans and that’s as a direct result of consultation with local traders.”

He added Grainger is offering the traders the statutory amount of compensation to leave while building work takes place.