We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sara Gonzalez please sign in and let everyone know.

Haringey Council's costs of withdrawing from Wards Corner develoment

We're waiting for Sara Gonzalez to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

I would like to understand better if Haringey Council has considered the option of not going ahead with the Wards Corner redevelopment despite the recent confirmation of the CPO on the 23rd of January 2019. In particular, I would like to understand what calculations have there been, and what advice has been sought regarding the potential costs of this decision and where to fund these costs from.

I am therefore requesting all documents, reports, figures, meetings and minutes of these meetings, memos and emails within Haringey council and also with external partners regarding the potential costs of withdrawing from the development agreement with Grainger PLC and cancelling the Wards Corner development. This should include (but not be limited to) communications within any members of Haringey council (councillors or officers) and with external partners such as the developer Grainger, independent surveyors and/or legal experts.

In particular, can you please provide detailed information regarding the method that the Council has used to arrive to the statement that if the development agreement was cancelled costs “could amount to many millions of pounds” as published in NovaraMedia for a news article (on the 4th of Feb)?

Finally, what is the breakdown of the legal costs of the Wards Corner CPO and how much of these legal costs would Haringey Council be liable for in case it cancelled the redevelopment project?

Advice and Assistance
Under Section 16 (FOIA), Regulation 9 (EIR) Authorities have a duty to ‘provide advice and assistance’ to help the requester make their request. In this instance I would request that if it seems likely, due to the number of meetings, that responding to the request would exceed the time limit, we are given advice as to how we could reduce the scope of the request in order to bring it within the statutory limit.

I would like to point out that only the time limits and fees set out in the appropriate legislation only cover locating, retrieving and extracting information within calculation costs and any time taken applying exemptions and redactions should not be included. If the authority feels that exemptions need to be applied, could I ask these are applied only to the sensitive information as is required by the law. Given the nature of the request it may be possible that the council considers engaging the following exemptions:

It may be that the council decides to consider this request under the Environmental Information Regulations (2004). We would request that an explanation is given for whatever legislation is used to consider this request. And regardless of the legislation, the following points are taken into consideration.

Section 41 (FOIA) Regulation 12 (5) (e) Confidential Information
When applying this exemption could you please follow the tests required, outlining the public body's reasoning behind applying the following tests:
1. Was the information provided by a third party capable of legal action
2. Would disclosure be a breach of confidence?
1. Does the information has a quality of confidence?
2. Was the information provided with a quality of confidence?
3. Would there be harm as a result of disclosure?
3. Is there an overriding public interest in disclosure?
Section 43 Regulation 12 (5) (e) Commercially Sensitive Information
When considering whether this exemption applies, please could it ensure that any submissions on whether there will be commercial damage are based on clear evidence and a direct link between disclosure and commercial harm and do not rely on generalised statements.
If the public authority decides to withhold any information please can you clearly set out which exemption is being applied in this case and which points were considered when balancing the prejudice and public interest tests. Please bear in mind the decision Hogan and Oxford City Council v Information Commissioner [2011] which notes that there should be an evidence based link between disclosure and 'real', 'substantial' and 'likely' harm.

I believe that in this case there is strong public interest in gaining a better understanding of the Council’s position regarding the Wards Corner redevelopment which will promote accountability of the local authority particular as this development affects the lives and livelihoods of many people. The Wards Corner development led by Grainger PLC has since 2007 sparked huge controversy in the community. There have been four legal challenges by local community groups and market traders directly affected by the development. The recent Compulsory Purchase which concerns this question attracted over 180 objections, accompanied by petitions against the CPO with approximately 1,875 signatures. These objections mainly pertain the disproportionately negative effect that the development will have on members of vulnerable, low-income, BME community groups; in particular market traders. Community and resident groups are also concerned about the lack of affordable housing on site and the destruction of local heritage which is currently locally listed. In reaction to these negative effects the local community has built through consultation an alternative vision for the area. The Wards Corner Community Coalition, a group established in 2007 gained in April 2014 planning permission for an alternative Community Plan for the same area. In May 2014 the Seven Sisters Indoor market which is part of the development was designated as an Asset of Community Value by Haringey Council.

Section 10 (FOI) Reg 5(2) (EIR) requires that a public authority respond 'promptly' to a request for information and otherwise no later than within 20 working days. This point is expanded upon in the ICO Guidance Paragraph 21-25, explaining that only in exceptional circumstances should requests take a full 20 working days to comply with.
If there is any part of this request that is unclear, please can you contact me to offer advice and guidance as to the form and format of the kinds of information held by the authority, so I am given an opportunity to explain what information I am seeking with reference to what is held. I would also note that the Section 45 Code of Practice says that in providing advice and assistance, I should be allowed to speak to your FOI officer rather than conducting all correspondence over email

Yours faithfully,

Sara Gonzalez

Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Gonzalez

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
LBH/8432619

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 20 February 2019.

 

This information request will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations and we
will send the response by 20 March 2019

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Feedback and Information Governance

 

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

Haringey Council 

Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, Wood Green, London N22 7TR

 

www.haringey.gov.uk

twitter@haringeycouncil

facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Ms Gonzalez

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
LBH/8432619

 

I am writing in reference to your request for information received on 20
February 2019.

 

Unfortunately we are currently unable to respond to your request. We
require more time to consider if an exemption applies under the Freedom of
Information Act, and to determine whether or not the balance of the public
interest lies in maintaining an exemption.

 

We apologise that there will be a delay in responding to your request. We
now expect to respond to you by 17 April 2019.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email address].

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Claire Gunn

Feedback Review Officer

Shared Service Centre | Central Team

 

Haringey Council

5th Floor, Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, Wood Green, London N22 7TR

 

[1]www.haringey.gov.uk

[2]twitter@haringeycouncil

[3]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.haringey.gov.uk/
2. https://twitter.com/haringeycouncil
3. https://www.facebook.com/haringeycouncil

Taylor Neil, Haringey Borough Council

1 Attachment

 

Dear Ms Gonzalez,

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/8432619

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 20 February 2019,
in which you asked for the following:

 

 1. All documents, reports, figures, meetings and minutes of these
meetings, memos and emails within Haringey Council and also with
external partners regarding the potential costs of withdrawing from
the development agreement with Grainger PLC and cancelling the Wards
Corner development. This should include (but not be limited to)
communications within any members of Haringey council (councillors or
officers) and with external partners such as the developer Grainger,
independent surveyors and/or legal experts
 2. Detailed information regarding the method that the Council has used to
arrive to the statement that if the development agreement was
cancelled costs “could amount to many millions of pounds” as published
in NovaraMedia for a news article (on the 4th of Feb)
 3. The breakdown of the legal costs of the Wards Corner CPO and how much
of these legal costs would Haringey Council be liable for in case it
cancelled the redevelopment project

 

My response is as follows:

 

The costs that the Council would be liable for if it cancelled the
[1]Development Agreement (DA) includes those set out in the DA signed in
2007 and the Compulsory Purchase Order Indemnity Agreement (CPOIA) signed
in 2015 (copy attached).

In 2017, during the CPO Enquiry, the Grainger officer’s proof of evidence
stated that: “Grainger’s commitment to the Order Scheme, and the wider
regeneration of Seven Sisters, is evidenced by the fact that, to date,
£10.7m has been spent on the Order Scheme including professional fees and
property acquisitions.” This has formed the basis of estimating costs to
be in the millions.

Following the Secretary of State’s decision to grant the CPO on the 23^rd
January 2019, the Council is seeking to quantify the potential scale of
costs for which we might be liable. This work is ongoing and there is not
a final estimate; we do not hold the information that you have requested.
The costs would be subject to negotiation and thus we would be unlikely to
release any information on the costs until negotiations had been completed
and a final figure agreed.

 

If you are unhappy with how we have responded to your request you can ask
us to conduct an Internal Review. If so, please contact the [2]Feedback
and Information Team. (Please note you should do so within two months of
this response.)

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Neil Taylor

 

CPO Project Manager

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, may be
subject to legal privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or
organisation(s) to whom this email is addressed. Any unauthorised use,
retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this email in error, please notify the system
administrator at Haringey Council immediately and delete this e-mail from
your system. Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be
free of any virus or other defect which might affect any computer or
system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility
of the recipient to ensure they are virus free and no responsibility is
accepted for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof. All
communications sent to or from external third party organisations may be
subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with relevant
legislation.

References

Visible links
1. http://bailey.persona-pi.com/Public-Inqu...
2. mailto:[email address]

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sara Gonzalez please sign in and let everyone know.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org