OpinioN8

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Shevlock gets his pound of flesh - #HTHBaddeal - LBH might not get out of a wet paper bag - #HTHStitchup

When planning permission was granted in 2010 for the 'enabling development' of dwellings in the former car park a condition was imposed on the developer that no dwelling should be occupied until the restoration of the Town Hall (then described as Phase 1) was complete. You can read the wording in this S106 document on the Haringey Planning portal - it is paragraph 15.

This (really quite sensible) restriction was imposed to prevent the possibility that the developer would build his flats, take his profit, and then only slowly, if ever, discharge his duty to the refurbishment of the heritage building. There is no suggestion that the developer might turn out to be the sort of shyster who would do such a thing, it was just a precaution to eliminate the temptation. Really quite sensible.

By contrast, the new planning application just granted has conditions imposed on it which describes Phase 1 as:

- Block A & B construction, public realm works (excluding Town Hall Square), Town Hall enabling works (incl. hazardous materials removal, soft strip, survey works), demolition of Clinic building, Sub Station relocation.
- on completion of phase 1, 81 units (60% of the market units) have permission for occupation

Now I read that as - "to start with, you , the developer, need do more or less nothing to the Town Hall, except a bit of tidying up and finding out just how bad the problem is, at the end of which you can sell the really profitable, easy to develop, new-build flats." 

 Note that I'm still not suggesting that the developer might turn out to be the sort of shyster who would do such a thing, but now there are no precautions in place. Really quite sensible? And just if the developer did simply make his profit from those two huge overpowering, conservation-area destroying blocks of flats, and then began to lose interest in the rest of the deal what recourse would Haringey have. The developer is  a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) "Crouch End (FEC) Limited" which has a single share held by a single somewhat mysterious shareholder Shevlock Ltd registered at PO Box 957 in Tortola in the British Virgin I$land$. Try getting your pound of flesh from that tax avoidance scheme.

You'll be familiar with this company structure from watching films and tv about the international un-accountability of global mega-corporations.

And of course, one of the reasons a community trust could not take over the Town Hall was because it could not raise the money to carry out refurbishment before selling the flats. And now FEC does not have to. Haringey couldn't negotiate their way out a wet paper bag. Escaping from a wet paper bag might one day be a useful skill so I offer this training course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGJltbb9RoM

 The full wording of the phasing proposals can be seen in this document, the officer's report to the planning committee, but here they are anyway:

20)A full phasing strategy, proposing the following phases of works:
1) Phase 1: Block A & B, Public Realm (excluding Town Hall Square),
Town Hall Enabling Works (Including Hazardous Materials
Removal, Soft Strip, Survey Works, Demolition of Existing Clinic
Building), Utilities Connections and Sub Station relocation;
2) Phase 2: Shell & Core Works to the Town Hall;
3) Phase 3: Fit Out to the Town Hall;
4) Phase 4: Broadway Annexe and Town Hall Square
The Plan shall propose the following phasing:
a) Phase 1 works shall be completed FOLLOWING the implementation
of the planning permission but PRIOR to the occupation of the 81
units representing approximately 60% of the market units;
b) Phase 2 works shall be completed FOLLOWING the implementation
of the planning permission, but PRIOR to the occupation of the 108
units representing approximately 80% of the market units;
c) Phase 3 works shall be completed FOLLOWING the implementation
of the planning permission, but PRIOR to residential occupation of
the 122 units representing approximately 90% of the market units.
The Plan shall propose the operation of the hotel at Phase 3 and
50% hotel room availability;
d) Phase 4 works shall be completed PRIOR to residential occupation
of the final 10% of the market new build residential units

Tags: HTHStitchup, HTHbaddeal, dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, labour, ojeu, planning application, tax haven

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