Settlement reached over axed Haringey regeneration project

Lendlease has reached an out-of-court settlement with Haringey council over the scrapping of the £2bn Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) regeneration project.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Lendlease confirmed it has now agreed a settlement with the London borough.

‘This enables us to move forward and work together on the High Road West scheme, which will bring much-needed new homes, jobs and community facilities for the people of Haringey,’ added the spokesperson.

The developers started legal proceedings against the London borough last year, after a new administration pulled the plug on the controversial scheme.

The HDV was set up as a joint venture by Haringey council and Lendlease in 2017 by the-then Labour administration, which was led by Cllr Claire Kober.

Under the plans, tens of millions of pounds worth of public land, including council homes, civic buildings and commercial units would have been transferred into the joint venture.

But the plans met with large-scale opposition from residents, local MP David Lammy and opposition councillors.

In January 2018, Cllr Kober announced plans to stand down from the council at the May elections following a rift within the Labour Party.

And last July, the new council’s new Labour leader, Cllr Joseph Ejiofor scrapped the project.

At the time, the relevant cabinet report warned that ending the contract with Lendlease will mean the London borough would have to pay Lendlease £520,275 to cover costs.

It also noted that the council had already spent around £2.4m on the project, as well as £250,000 defending a judicial review, which was brought by residents.

A Haringey council spokesperson said: ‘Lendlease and Haringey have agreed final terms following the cessation of the HDV and there will be no further legal proceedings.’

Reacting to the latest statements, Haringey’s Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr Liz Morris said: ‘In these cash-strapped times for councils, it is very disappointing that Haringey has wasted even more money on the HDV. The Council has apparently paid further costs to pull out of the joint venture, even though there was already an agreement in place setting out the “agreed costs” – in this case £520,275.

‘I am especially concerned about the lack of transparency – taxpayers have a right to know how much the HDV fiasco has cost them,’ added Cllr Morris.

Local campaigner Martin Ball claimed the settlement was ‘not the decent burial’ that Cllr Ejiofor ‘confidently promised’ a meeting of the StopHDV campaign when he became Leader in May 2018.

‘That the settlement figure has not been released creates suspicion that the public purse has paid a high price to extract the council from one deal with Lendlease, so they can get on with the demolition of the Love Lane Estate deal with Lendlease,’ added Mr Ball.

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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