Crowdfunding drive to bankroll HDV High Court challenge

Protestors outside a previous council meeting at Haringey Civic Centre

Protestors outside a previous council meeting at Haringey Civic Centre - Credit: Archant

Campaigners protesting against the controversial Haringey Develpment Vehicle have mounted a crowdfunding drive to raise £25,000 in order to challenge the scheme in the High Court.

Under the unprecedented plans, the largest of their kind ever proposed by a UK council, huge swathes of council land, housing and business property worth more than £2 billion will be transferred to a private company – owned 50/50 by the council and Australian-based developers Lendlease.

A crowdfunding drive launched by Alexandra Park resident Gordon Peters, who also chairs the Older People’s Reference Group for Haringey, brands the deal “highly risky” and calls on supporters to “stop this now while there is still time”.

He has instructed human rights lawyers Leigh Day to fight the case.

A separate effort has already raised £4,000 to meet the costs of a Pre-Action Letter warning the leader of the council that considerations towards Judicial Review will be made if the proposals go ahead.

“Now, as part of the growing campaign to stop the Haringey Development Vehicle, we urgently need to continue to raise money for the next stage of the legal action,” Mr Peters wrote.

“Going to the High Court could cost as much as £25,000.

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“Our lawyers Leigh Day, however, believe we have a very strong case.

“Pledges from individuals as well as organisations will all help.

“If we fail to raise these monies, we risk having to stand by and witness the biggest sell-off of local authority assets in UK history.”

Since the campaign launched a month ago, 60 supporters have managed to raise £2,975.

The council have said the scheme will provide 5,000 new homes in the borough, although some council estates will be demolished to make way for them.

As previously reported in the Ham&High, Australian-based developers Lendlease were selected as the council’s partner for the HDV in February.

Cllr Alan Strickland, Haringey Council cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning said: “Growth is at the heart of our ambitions for Haringey and through this joint venture we are planning to create the thousands of new homes and jobs that local people have made it clear they want to see for the borough.

“We have already spoken to thousands of residents about our plans to regenerate Tottenham and Wood Green and will continue to do so.

“Any development carried out by the HDV will follow consultation with local residents and businesses, as well as being subject to the usual planning processes.

“The 50:50 HDV partnership guarantees the council will be involved in all decisions and, crucially, will ensure that a share of all profits will be invested back into other regeneration schemes, affordable housing and funding the many essential services we provide to residents.”

The crowdfunding page can be found here.