Haringey Council forced to think again over £2bn regeneration plan

Members of Haringey Council's overview and scrutiny committee have agreed plans to regenerate the bo

Members of Haringey Council's overview and scrutiny committee have agreed plans to regenerate the borough by entering into a public/private partnership should be reconsidered. Picture: JON KING - Credit: Archant

Members of a council watchdog have forced a rethink over plans to regenerate Haringey.

At a meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee – called after Liberal-Democrat councillors forced the council to send the scheme to the panel – it was agreed the plan should be reconsidered by Cabinet.

Members of the committee heard from councillors and campaigners opposed to the proposal to transfer public assets to a joint venture company, known as the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), fearing there are insufficient protections for leaseholders, tenants and small businesses.

As part of the scheme council tenants would be forced from their homes – to be demolished to make way for redeveloped estates.

But opponents believe social tenants will have nowhere left to return to with a guarantee in the HDV scheme that only 40 per cent of new properties would be affordable with no social homes.

After facing a barrage of criticism over the pace of the initiative and lack of public consultation, Cllr Alan Strickland attacked the housing policy of the last coalition government before turning on MP David Lammy saying under his mayoral-election manifesto he had wanted to make it easier for councils to enter into joint venture schemes.

“We’re desperately trying to bring more homes and jobs to the borough. We want to make sure the public profit from this,” Cllr Strickland said.

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After Cllr Pippa Connor asked three times in succession what percentage of social rents and housing would be available at the Northumberland estate at the end of the site’s redevelopment she was told the council didn’t know.

At which point Cllr Emine Ibrahim commented: “I’m a bit worried that you haven’t done the maths on this yet.

“If everybody chose to return [the HDV] would have no impact on housing waiting lists which begs the question why are we doing it?”

Cllr Connor added: “We have huge numbers on our waiting lists. This needs to be nailed down more firmly.”

After the meeting, Cllr Liz Morris said: “The decision is disappointing. It would have been more democratic if all councillors had a say. on the biggest decision the council will ever make.

“It should not be down to a handful of Labour councillors in the Cabinet to decide.”