Slides from a presentation by Haringey Council to its External Auditor on 19th April this year have revealed that
• The Council is to use dedicated Housing Funding to give Tottenham Hotspur Football Club £30.5 million towards the cost of a Podium (a raised public space) at its new football stadium.
• Spurs has purchased many additional sites around the area, using its land as ransom holdings to influence Council redevelopment plans.
• Despite promises, much of the council housing to be demolished in the area will not be replaced by new social homes.
Spurs has repeatedly pressed for public subsidy for its new ground, and has pressed for exemption from planning policy on affordable housing. The new ground includes 585 new homes which are to be 0% affordable. The justification for this at the Planning Sub Committee in December 2015 was that the development costing between £675 and £750 million had an expected rate of return of just 1.2%. It was suggested at the time that further public subsidy would be required, to fill a viability funding gap which we estimated at £60 million.
Now Haringey are planning to give Spurs £30.5 million for the podium from Housing Zone funding which has been provided by the Greater London Authority to support housing regeneration in Tottenham. The money could be borrowed at a fixed rate of 2.2% over 12 years, loading additional costs onto this huge subsidy to one of the world’s richest football clubs.
Haringey has an alternative source for part of the £30.5 million – a £23 million surplus which has been created in the cashflow for High Road West, a plan to demolish council housing opposite the Spurs Ground.
The Slides reveal that contrary to GLA Guidance, demolished social housing will not be replaced in full.
212 rented Council dwellings at the Love Lane estate will be replaced by only 145 social rented homes, in a huge mainly private new housing development.
Spurs have bought up 14% of the redevelopment area, and the £30.5 million subsidy is tied to Spurs being prepared to sell these ‘ransom’ land holdings to allow land assembly for High Road West.
The £30.5 million subsidy proposal will need to be ratified by the Haringey Cabinet.
These subsidies to Spurs are being proposed by a Council Cabinet besieged by critics of its Haringey Development Vehicle joint venture with the developer Lendlease to demolish thousands more council homes, and price local people out by increasing rents and house prices in this mainly poor area of North London, where 48% of households have no savings or are in debt.
Meanwhile other council services are being slashed, such as Adult Social Care, or sold off like the Osborne Grove care home.
Local MP David Lammy has publicly expressed his lack of confidence in Council leader Claire Kober, and Labour Councillors meeting on Thursday night debated a NO Confidence motion in Cllr Kober.
Notes: See Audit Presentation- 19th April 2017 JW
p 24: the £30.5 millon subsidy to Spurs
pp 15 and 24: Spurs ransom holdings
pp15 and 17: Loss of social housing at High Road West
Illustration above: Impression of the new Spurs ground, viewed from the southern end of the Podium, off Tottenham High Road.
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