Haringey Council and property developer Lendlease have reached an agreement to end their legal dispute over the Labour-run authority’s decision to drop plans made under its predecessor Labour administration to form a 50:50 joint venture company to redevelop council-owned land and property in the borough.
Lendlease had filed a claim against the council following its decision in July to drop to Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) plan, which would have seen the council transfer assets including offices and housing estates into the new company with a view to greatly expanding housing supply in the borough.
However, in a statement a Lendlease spokesperson said: “While we remain disappointed not to proceed with the HDV, which was fully out of our control, we have now agreed a settlement with the council. This enables us to move forward and work together on the High Road West scheme, which will bring much needed new homes, jobs and community facilities for the people of Haringey.”
The High Road West project in Tottenham, close to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s ground, is a regeneration programme agreed between the council and Lendlease and separately from the HDV in 2017. It has already entailed rehousing many residents of the Love Lane council-owned estate in advance of its proposed demolition and rebuilding.
Opposition to the HDV was the key mobilising issue for a successful campaign by members of Momentum and various non-Labour Far Left groups to remove sitting Labour councillors who supported it and replace them with councillors enthused by the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Both the leader and deputy leader of the new Labour administration formed after May’s borough elections are members of Momentum national bodies.
However, despite jettisoning the HDV, the new “Corbyn Council” is encouraging remaining and newer, temporary, Love Lane residents to support continuing with the estate’s redevelopment by Lendlease in a forthcoming ballot. The settlement over the HDV, about which no details have yet been released, will be taken as an indication that the developer and the council leadership recognise a common interest in maintaining their existing partnership arrangements.
On Tuesday, the council’s cabinet confirmed that it will go ahead with the demolition of two housing blocks on its Broadwater Farm estate found to be unsafe without first balloting their residents, many of whom have already been rehoused elsewhere.
Due to the safety issue, the council is seeking an exemption from London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s requirement that residents’ support for regeneration schemes that entail the loss of existing social housing must be secured through a ballot if he is to help fund them.
The decision has been condemned by the opposition Liberal Democrat Group and by the Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association, both of which say residents should have been offered a choice between the demolition and replacement of their homes and a strengthening refurbishment of them, which the council believes would be too expensive.
This article initially said that the council had already secured a ballot exemption from Mayor Khan in relation to Broadwater Farm. In fact, it is still at the application stage. Apologies.