Judge in HDV High Court review told Haringey Council acted with ‘no lack of democracy’

Campaigners gathered outside the Royal Courts on both days of the hearing, shouting and waving placa

Campaigners gathered outside the Royal Courts on both days of the hearing, shouting and waving placards saying 'We are not being respected'. Picture: JON KING - Credit: Archant

A High Court judge deciding the lawfulness of Haringey Council’s £2billion regeneration plan was told there was no lack of democracy when the decisions which led to it getting the go ahead were made.

Ranjit Bhose QC stated the arguments as Haringey’s defence hit its stride in the second day of a judge led review at the Royal Courts of Justice.

After challenging a set of recommendations made ahead of a cabinet vote to push ahead with the HDV by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee, Mr Bhose said: “Existing residents and tenants have been kept informed about the HDV. There were no democratic deficiencies.

“There are no equality issues in this case,” he added.

A day earlier David Wolfe QC, the barrister acting for Gordon Peters who triggered the review, argued the public had not been consulted properly and the impact of the council’s estates renewal plan on vulnerable groups and minorities had not been assessed adequately.

Under the scheme, labelled the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), Haringey would transfer land and buildings into a joint venture with developer Lendlease.

The council argues the scheme will bring jobs and improve housing, something which it could not do without private sector investment and expertise.

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But in the three day review which began yesterday Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley is tasked with deciding whether it was lawful for Haringey to set up the scheme in the way it did.

On whether or not Haringey failed to carry out its duty to consider the impact on vulnerable groups, Mr Bhose said the claimant’s challenge in this was “entirely artificial”.

The hearing continues.