Haringey councillors have voted to scrap the borough’s controversial £2bn regeneration project despite the threat of legal action from the developer.
The Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) was a joint venture between the local authority and the private developers Lendlease that would have enabled the authority to build 6,400 new homes.
However, the council’s overview and scrutiny committee warned in January 2017 that the whole project had ‘unacceptably high risks’.
‘The preference of this administration, as stated in our manifesto, is to build council homes on our own land,’ said Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, leader of Haringey Council.
‘We firmly believe that what is currently public land should remain in public ownership. We are committed to building new, affordable homes over the next four years – including the delivery of 1000 new council homes – and we start from the principle the council should be delivering those homes itself.
‘The proposed Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) has shown how strongly opinions differ about the best way to tackle those important issues.
‘Building on the commitments we made during the recent elections, we have now taken decisive action to set a new direction for the council, with this final decision that the HDV will not now go ahead.
‘We know a decision like this should not be taken lightly, in the same way that we know we have a duty to listen to all voices in our local communities.’
Dan Labbad, the chief executive officer of Lendlease Europe, has written to the council warning it against abandoning the deal.
‘If the cabinet decides to attempt to reverse our appointment as the successful bidder we will have no choice but to seek to protect Lendlease’s interests given our very significant investment over the last two-and-a-half years,’ he said.
‘We are obviously concerned at the threat of protracted legal action by Lendlease, however the people of Haringey elected us to govern their borough, and to take decisions that are in the best interests of all Haringey’s residents,’ Cllr Ejiofor said.
For more on the HDV see our feature, 'Haringey's £2bn regeneration plans.'