The end of London's Latin quarter?

Story highlights

  • London's largest Latin clusters at risk of displacement
  • Traders have mobilized a popular campaign to save much-loved market

(CNN)On Saturday nights, Lita Kaguawajigashi invites a singer to perform for lively crowds at her restaurant the Pueblito Paisa.

"When people pass they think they are in Colombia," she laughs.
    It is easy to get that impression at the Seven Sisters market in North London, home to one of the two largest Latin American business clusters in the city.
      The indoor market is a dense labyrinth of cafes, hair salons and financial traders, where the music reverberates, the aromas are tempting and young children hurtle along the corridors.
      But there is tension mixed into the party atmosphere. The site was recently served with a Compulsory Purchase Order by Haringey Council, ahead of planned development that would see the market demolished.
      Five years on from the devastating riots that tore through the neighborhood, the council is determined to transform one of the city's most deprived boroughs into an affluent commercial hub. A £65 million ($79 million) scheme with development giant Grainger plc would see 196 apartments and several chain stores take the place of the market.
      The council claims this would bring new jobs and increased revenue to the area, but the existing occupants and their many supporters argue that something priceless would be lost.