Plans for the redevelopment of Alexandra Palace were thrown into disarray this afternoon after the High Court ruled the Charity Commission’s decision to allow the redevelopment was ‘fatally flawed’.
North London resident Jacob O’Callaghan sought a judicial review of the Commission’s decision to allow Haringey Council, which owns the 7.5 acre Palace, and the Palace Charitable Trust to grant a 125-year lease to Firoz Kassam’s Firoka Group.
The order by the Commission was the final hurdle for the charitable trust owner to dispose of the lease, which became unconditional following the granting of the order.
Kassam was selected as preferred investment partner in January 2006. He plans a £55m redevelopment of the historic venue.
The Judge in his ruling quashed the Charity Commission’s order and said it was fatally flawed because all consultees were not made aware of the details of the lease and could not respond meaningfully to the consultation.
Councillor Matt Cooke, chairman of trustees at Alexandra Palace Charitable Trust, said: ‘Naturally we are extremely disappointed at the set back that today's decision represents. The priority for the trustees has always been, and remains, to secure the future of Alexandra Palace for future generations of Londoners, and to remove the financial burden from the London Borough of Haringey.
What is for certain is that the current situation, whereby 40% of the Palace is derelict and the Council is forced to support the Palace with hundreds of thousands of pounds a year is not sustainable. As trustees, we will be reviewing our options in the coming days and will make a further statement in due course.’