The argument about the Haringey Development Vehicle took yet another turn recently. The HDV, designed to allow the creation of 6,400 new homes in the Borough met some strong opposition, even leading the leader of the local council to resign. In February though four challenges to the project failed. Although this means the proposal can move forward there is real belief it will fade away if the political party in control of the local council changes in the coming elections.
Changing housing regeneration plans
The biggest thing to come from the case is that serious challenges to development proposals can progress very far. Although the HDV was very similar to many other proposals for regenerations schemes, this plan got a huge amount of negative attention. There were several concerns, including the impact on Right to Buy for existing social housing tenants. This is because the new homes would be built by a non-public sector landlord. As a result no such right is available. Instead the tenants would have a right to acquire.
Many of the specifics of the project were in line with local planning policy. For example, of the 6,400 new homes, an impressive 40% would be affordable. The project would also have been one of the only viable ways to regenerate old housing estates affordably. Their chosen partner Lendlease would have provided funding and expertise. All the local council had to supply was the land.
What are the other development options?
With the challenge and the potential for a shift in the political landscape, plans for redeveloping Haringey and creating new homes could change dramatically. It would be a shame if the result of the disagreement was estates left to fall further into decline and failure to boost housing supply. The current system of deals between public and private sector entities may have some flaws but there are concerns whether a viable alternative exists.
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