Tottenham stadium scheme land acquisition order faces High Court challenge

Out-Law News | 11 Sep 2014 | 4:37 pm | 1 min. read

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC) has confirmed that plans to purchase land to allow the redevelopment of its White Hart Lane football stadium in north London face a legal challenge from a local business.

Haringey Council made a compulsory purchase order (CPO) in July 2012 to enable the acquisition of land for THFC's plans to redevelop the site surrounding the existing White Hart Lane Stadium. THFC wants to use the land to build a new 56,250 seat stadium, 200 homes, a hotel, shops and a public square. Secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles confirmed the CPO in July, stating that "there is a compelling case in the public interest to justify sufficiently the interference with the human rights of those with an interest in the land affected". 

In a statement yesterday, THFC confirmed that affected landowners Archway Sheet Metal Works Limited and the Josif family were seeking to challenge Pickles' decision in the High Court. THFC confirmed that it had "successfully and amicably relocated more than 70 businesses in the area to the satisfaction of all parties concerned", but that "in the instance of Archway, we have been unable to reach agreement over the period of the last seven years". 

Pickles' decision was at odds with the recommendation of a planning inspector who had held a public inquiry in March and April 2013 following objections from local landowners whose land would be subject to purchase under the CPO. The inspector had recommended that the CPO should not be confirmed, saying that the proposed benefits of the scheme were reliant on public funding and therefore did not outweigh the interference with human rights caused by allowing the land to be purchased against the will of landowners. 

THFC said that, while it hoped to achieve "the earliest possible resolution" and hoped to reach a private settlement with Archway, it anticipated a delay in bringing forward its redevelopment plans during the resolution of the legal challenge. This is likely to require it to temporarily relocate away from White Hart Lane, it said.

"Given the lengthy period of time taken to reach the CPO decision in the first place, we should like to advise supporters that it is highly unlikely we shall be able to open the new stadium at the start of the 2017/2018 season," said THFC. "The Club has revised its construction programme in order to take the shortest possible time to construct. This now therefore involves the Club moving away from [White Hart] Lane during construction for a period of one season."