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Resident pursues judicial review over development partner choice

A local resident is to launch a legal challenge to the London Borough of Haringey’s decision to press ahead with a development vehicle for one of the country’s largest regeneration schemes.

The Cabinet at the council chose Lendlease in February to be its 50/50 partner in the Haringey Development Vehicle. The 20-year scheme would create “thousands of new jobs and at least 5,000 new homes”,  the north London authority said at the time.

However, claimant Gordon Peters, who is seeking to raise £4,000 through crowd funding website Crowd Justice for the next stage of his legal action, said: “At an eventual value of £2bn, it would be the biggest ever sell-off of public assets in local authority history. 

“It will affect many of the present council estate residents who would lose their current homes as well as those who are currently homeless. The council have refused to give a written guarantee of a right to return on council tenancies, and only a small percentage of the new accommodation will be on social rents.

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“Whilst some tenants might be rehoused locally, most will lose their current residential rights as tenants. The replacement homes will have a lack of genuinely affordable housing and there is no guarantee at all of social housing.” 

Peters also claimed there was a high risk to all of Haringey residents “by putting so much of the public purse in the hands of a new limited company with no guaranteed income and no risk assessment shared”.

He argued that there had been “a serious lack of consultation, of democratic process, of transparency and accountability, as well as duties of equal treatment which must now be addressed in a court of law”.

The council had dismissed the concerns raised in his pre-action protocol letter, Peters added.

More than £8,000 has been raised already for legal costs so far but the additional £4,000 was needed so that barristers could make the case to the High Court. "We may well need more after that," the claimant said.

Peters added: “If we win – and our lawyers Leigh Day feel we have a very strong case, a judge can stop this vehicle in its tracks and make Haringey reconsider its options – including putting its case before the electorate in the council elections of 2018.”

So far £1,510 has been pledged towards the £4,000 target by 44 people, with 23 days of the fundraising still to go.

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