Haringey Council has scrapped its £4bn joint venture with developer Lendlease which aimed to deliver more than 6,000 homes over the next 20 years.
Lendlease chief executive Dan Labbad said the company was “extremely disappointed” that the council had made the decision to scrap the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) which would undo ”four of years of planning in a matter of weeks”.
The decision could result in legal action from Lendlease after Labbad outlined the firm’s intentions “to protect its interests” in a letter sent to the new council leader Jospeh Ejiofor ahead of last night’s meeting.
In the letter Labbad wrote: “You will presumably have taken legal advice about the full range of remedies that would be open to Lendlease if we were prevented from proceeding. The council will be aware that it must follow due process in fully and properly considering its obligations arising from this procurement. It must not take any decision which would be irrational, in particular in the context of the borough’s urgent need for housing.”
Lendlease was announced as the preferred partner for the HDV in March 2017. However, the regeneration plans, which included a new town centre in Wood Green, faced massive political opposition which came to a head in December when local Labour party members moved to deselect or force out councillors considered sympathetic to the Haringey Development Vehicle.
The regeneration scheme drew negative attention when it was revealed the HDV would demolish a number of the borough’s social housing estates amid accusations of ‘social cleansing’.
A month later, in January, the leader of Haringey Council Claire Kober announced she would step down leaving her successor to make the decision on whether to proceed with the joint venture with Lendlease.
“We are extremely disappointed the council has voted not to proceed with the HDV without even offering us the opportunity to discuss face to face, undoing four years of planning in just a matter of weeks,” said Labbad.
Labbad said the HDV offered a flexible framework which could deliver “enormous benefits” for the borough’s housing and local employment market.
“At the end of the day it’s the residents of Haringey who will suffer most from this decision, given that 10,000 families remain in desperate need of a home.”