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Labour Party moves to block Lendlease scheme

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The Labour Party has called on Haringey Council to reconsider its partnership with Lendlease on a scheme to build 6,400 homes

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) yesterday voted in favour of calling on the north London council, which it controls, to stop its deal with Lendlease to redevelop an estate in the borough.

The £1 billion-plus redevelopment could create up to 6,400 homes, with the masterplan also featuring new schools and a health centre for the area as well as a new town centre for Wood Green.

In July 2017 a 50:50 joint venture between the council and Lendlease – the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) – was formed to deliver the scheme.

However, the project has attracted opposition from Labour politicians, with Labour MP David Lammy expressing concerns over the provision of affordable housing, financial risk to the council and alleged lack of oversight of the process.

Speaking at the time, council leader Claire Kober said the move had been debated three times and that the council had agreed to go ahead with the deal.

However, Construction News revealed in October that the joint venture was on hold after campaigners lodged a legal challenge at the High Court.

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said in October that the HDV would go ahead ‘at a time when it is legally appropriate to do so’.

Local Labour councillors have reportedly been divided over the scheme, with its Momentum members opposing the project and others supporting it.

Haringey housing chief Alan Strickland, who spearheaded the redevelopment plans, was deselected by the party in November. He said he would not seek reselection.

The BBC reported that other supporters on the council have also been deselected or have stood down ahead of local elections in May.

Its report added that Momentum, which has campaigned against the scheme, is likely to have a strong influence on council policy if Labour wins in May’s local elections.

Haringey Council has been contacted for comment. Lendlease declined to comment.

Opposition to the Haringey development comes less than a week after the Labour-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council called on Capco to return the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estate to its control.

Capco has so far paid £75 million for the estate, which forms part of its Earls Court redevelopment plan. It is understood Capco had been in discussion with the borough about a new, denser masterplan featuring more homes – a replacement for the earlier, consented proposals by Terry Farrell from 2012 (see AJ 10.11.17). 

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