Hundreds take to Haringey’s streets in fight against multi-million pound HDV regeneration plan
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of protesters battling plans to sell off council-owned homes and businesses have marched through the streets.
Campaigners against the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) – Haringey Council’s scheme to regenerate the borough by transferring property to a
company run by councillors and private developer Lendlease – waved placards, pounded drums and chanted in Saturday’s action.
Residents, union members and organisers from campaign group Stop the HDV accuse the council would put tenants at risk by demolishing existing council accommodation and replacing it with properties 40 per cent of which are “affordable”.
The council is being taken to court over the plan with a judicial review over its legality scheduled to start next month.
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Outlining the march’s aim, Stop the HDV campaigner Phil Jackson said: “It’s not easy in a process as long as the HDV to keep it in the public eye. This could last months.”
Mr Jackson argued the council has no authorisation from voters for the plan because the HDV proposal was not in councillors’ manifestoes at the last local elections adding that Haringey’s MPs opposed the HDV. Voters next elect councillors in May next year.
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He added Haringey’s “claim” it had consulted residents had been “roundly criticised” voicing fears the council may push through the deal in spite of the court action.
Mr Jackson said: “To attempt to push through a 25 year, billion pound deal in the dying days of the council strikes me as grossly irresponsible and contemptuous. There are better ways of regenerating the borough.
“Even if you are not directly impacted, should the HDV go wrong the loss is borne by everybody. Haringey is one community. We thrive as one community,” he added.
According to organisers 900 people joined the march which left Tottenham Green for a rally in Finsbury Park during which Highate councillor and GLA member Sian Berry told protesters council homes “need to be controlled democratically”.
“People need to be in charge of what happens on their estates. What Haringey is doing is the exact opposite,” she said before calling on London mayor Sadiq Khan to come out against the plan more forcefully.
Highgate cllr Clive Carter added: “It’s too big and too risky. It will up end residents’ lives. This will be an election issue.”
A council spokesman said: “Haringey faces an acute housing crisis and our residents desperately need more and better homes and jobs. The HDV will bring billions of pounds of investment to the borough through an innovative 50/50 partnership between the council and our partners, Lendlease.
“This joint venture will build 6,400 new homes, with at least 40% affordable, and create thousands of new jobs for Haringey, as well as investing millions in schemes for local people such as skills training and community support. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the HDV will improve the lives of our residents including existing council tenants who have a guaranteed right to return on equivalent terms,” he added.