Spurs row purchase order ruling due

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Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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An old family business standing in the way of Spurs’ £400 million stadium redevelopment will learn today whether it has won its High Court challenge against a compulsory purchase order being used to force it out.

Archway Sheet Metal Works, in Paxton Road, Tottenham, has asked a judge to quash Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ decision to confirm the “invalid and unlawful” order.

Mr Justice Dove, sitting in London, will give his decision this morning.

If Archway wins its David and Goliath battle it could throw plans for the new 56,000 capacity stadium into disarray.

Josif Josif, 46, who runs the family business producing metal items for the catering and hospitality industry, says there have been “bomb threats”.

Last November a mystery fire gutted the Archway premises, located just yards from the White Hart Lane ground in north London.

Mr Josif said at the time of the fire: “People were calling us and threatening us and we were receiving bomb threats and that started a few months ago, but we don’t know if that’s got anything to do with it.”

The firm, which occupies a site of 25,000 sq ft, has been in dispute with Spurs for the last decade and is the now the last remaining business opposing the redevelopment.

The club has planning permission for the new stadium and hopes it will open for the 2018-19 season.

The London Borough of Haringey made the purchase order in March 2012, which was confirmed by the communities secretary in July 2014 following a public inquiry.

Archway claims new changes to the Spurs project have come to light which are so substantial that they require a fresh investigation.

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC, appearing for Archway, told the judge that documents Spurs were forced to reveal in the courts revealed discussions had taken place involving an updated design for the stadium increasing its capacity by 5,000.

The QC said discussions had also focused on a potential increase in the residential and commercial aspects of the development that would put it on “a substantially different scale” which raises issues about its viability

The discussions about the changes had taken place between Haringey Council and Tottenham Hotspur Ltd and representatives “at high levels of Government”, including UK Trade and Investment and HM Treasury, as well as the Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

Mr Lockhart-Mummery said: “There is clear evidence of an intention to implement these changes.”

Stephen Whale, acting for the Communities Secretary, submitted there were no grounds for ruling the purchase order invalid or unlawful, adding the minister had acted “on unchallenged findings” that the stadium project would benefit the borough.

Lawyers for Spurs and Haringey both joined in defending the project.

A Spurs spokesman said: “We have already successfully and amicably relocated more than 70 businesses in the area to the satisfaction of all parties concerned and a number of these organisations continue to reside in the borough.

“Whilst we were able to accommodate all these other businesses’ requests, in the instance of Archway, we have been unable to reach agreement over the period of the last seven years.”

Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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