Haringey cabinet backs block demolition before ballot

Campaigners now move to an official compliant over process to challenge ‘regeneration’ of Broadwater Farm.

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Housing campaigners pin their hopes on an official complaint to invalidate a council’s decision to demolish two ‘unsafe’ tower blocks.

As reported by 24housing yesterday (Oct 14), tenants and residents rallied in protest as Haringey’s Council’s cabinet voted for a demolition/rebuild option for the blocks on the borough’s Broadwater Farm estate.

The stand-off is a test of the London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to tenant ballots over regeneration.

The Council says it will hold a ballot, but only after the blocks have been demolished, having applied for ballot exemption from the Greater London Authority.

Labour controls the council, having won a majority in the May local elections on a manifesto pledge promising resident ballots on demolition proposals.

The GLA may still refuse Haringey permission for exemption from ballot at Broadwater Farm.

Campaigners claim that is not what the Greater London Authority and Haringey Council promised residents on demolition estates – including where health safety is an issue.

Jacob Secker, secretary of the estate residents association, told the crowd private tenant families faced being evicted into single rooms in hostel accommodation.

“While I am secretary of the Residents Association, over my dead body will that happen,” he said.

Campaigners also claim senior council officers are formulating a ‘ribbon of redevelopment’ across the estate – increasing the likelihood of further demolitions and unaffordable homes council land.

With demolition voted through last night, the campaign turns to an official complaint about the council’s ‘Independent tenant and leaseholder advisor’ (ITLA) who, campaigners claim, promoted the demolition agenda as they helped residents to fill out the consultation forms.

If this complaint is upheld, it could invalidate the consultation which the council is using to justify demolition.

There is  a very clear agenda of gentrification and social cleansing, when the Council is so determined to demolish rather than strengthen and improve its housing, says tenant campaigner Paul Burnham

Also at the meeting, the cabinet backed down on dilution of promises for the 100% replacement of council rent homes in the two blocks set for demolition and retreat from the right of tenants at one block to get a proper choice of new home.

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