Haringey prepares to drop unpopular HDV at next week’s cabinet meeting

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill - Credit: David Winskill

Haringey Council is set to ditch the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle policy, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, costing at least £520,000.

The public-private partnership with developer Lendlease would have seen around 6,400 houses built and 20,000 jobs created.

This included a potential site in Muswell Hill, at the junction of Woodside Avenue and Muswell Hill Road.

There are currently around 10,000 people on the council housing waiting list in the borough.

However the HDV’s unpopularity led to a number of Labour councillors being deselected, and eventually saw former council leader Claire Kober resign.

The recommendation that will be put before cabinet is to withdraw from the agreement with the developer.

According to cabinet papers, the council and Lendlease have agreed to split the existing costs in half.

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The £520,000 the council will have to stump up, will be on top of £250,000 the town hall has spent fighting a judicial review against the decision.

However in a letter to the council, Lendlease has urged the town hall to work with them in solving Haringey’s housing issues.

The letter, from chief executive officer Dan Labbad on July 9, said: “I would like to stress that we’re very keen to meet the council’s needs. As such we would welcome the opportunity to work through these options with you and your advisers as soon as possible.

“We have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to the provision of urgently needed homes, jobs and public amenities.”

Later at the same meeting, they will also look to approve plans to set up a wholly owned company for housing development.

This was pledged in Haringey Labour’s local elections manifesto in May. It is envisaged as the alternative to the HDV.

According to plans they would initially look to build on medium-sized sites, building between 10 and 150 houses on each.

One of the sites the authority has already identified is Cranwood, in Muswell Hill. The site currently includes a former council care home, as well as eight houses. A decision on Cranwood will be confirmed later this year.